Adam DeMarco: These students…(Guest Column)

| March 21, 2018
Rams Head

Over past few weeks in the wake of Parkland, I’ve had the privilege and opportunity to meet with students from across Maryland.  From speaking with the Anne Arundel NAACP Youth Leaders Council, to joining students from Montgomery County at the National School Walkout in Washington, DC, to making signs with the the courageous leaders of the upcoming ‘March for Our Lives’ in Annapolis,  I can honestly say that I’ve never been more hopeful for our future as a state and as a country.

The energy that these students and young leaders have in being civically engaged in our political system has been a refreshing reminder of just what makes our country so special.  To see these students, not only activate, but mobilize, has been refreshingly inspiring.  However, in all of my meetings, there were several key themes that arose that I feel are extremely important to address.

The first is that regardless of preconceived notions, mainly from old adages bestowed from previous generations, these students are energized.  They have the fortune of being the most connected generation to ever walk this earth and in doing so have formed bonds and connections stronger and larger than we can ever imagine.  So when one student leader named MacKenzie Boughey has an idea to put on a satellite ‘March for Our Lives’ event, with a couple of tweets and a status update she is able to activate and mobilize her friends, their friends, and their friends, and become a forceful mass for change.

The second theme is that some students in our area are legitimately frightened to go to school.  I can’t tell you how many eyes welled up as we talked about children being afraid to walk into a classroom.  And how many stories from parents I’ve heard about how their children have nightmares that one day, their school too will come under attack.  But it’s not just the threat of violence, it’s the day-to-day racism that has been growing in our District.  It’s the discriminatory sentiments and rhetoric which permeates our society and is infiltrating our schools on a daily basis.  These ghosts of generations past have no place in our society let alone our schools, yet this is the reality in schools across our District.

The final theme is that these students, regardless if they are 13 or 18, they all have one thing in common; they want to vote.  The paradigm has shifted. And if the recent elections in Virginia, Texas, or Pennsylvania have showed  us anything is that the status quo of Washington, DC, is coming to an end.  They, if no one else, are demanding accountability from our elected officials; not only for action, but also inaction.  And as I found out, they have no problems asking the hard questions and they won’t hold any metaphorical punches back—to which I couldn’t be prouder of them for that.

But what I have really come away with from the past few weeks after the Parkland shooting, and with the upcoming ‘March for Our Lives’ events across this country, is that this generation of students, these leaders, they are the ones who are going to be the real catalyst for change.  And not because they simply demand it, but because they won’t stop fighting for it.

Note: Adam DeMarco is a candidate for the US House of Representatives in Maryland’s 3rd District. We encourage all readers to learn all they can about the candidates that will appear on the ballot. Here is a link to DeMarco’s website.

 

Severn Bank

Category: OPINION, POLITICAL NEWS, Post To FB

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