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Columnist discusses how issues are quickly abandoned after the movement for change ends

By Josie Stewart, ’21

This article is not timely. For good reason.

Due to my ongoing binge of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, I have recently been forming opinions on issues in the world that I had never heard of before. While watching Oliver’s show and constantly checking the news in AP Government, there is an obvious trend with the news: movements begin with those who want to promote change in the world and do better, but soon after, their platforms quickly lose momentum and the public forgets that the problem exists—or choose to ignore it.

If we continue to do this, these issues will not just go away.

In 2018, there were 94 school shootings and gun-related incidents causing 113 deaths and injuries in the United States.

 

By Josie Stewart, ’21

This number, unfortunately, will likely grow this year.

After the Parkland shooting, we vowed as a society that there would not be another school shooting. Although there haven’t been any school shootings on the caliber of Parkland, the problem is persisting and the vow we made to the millions of children for their safety is broken.

Recently, a student at Worthington Kilbourne was charged for bringing a gun to school, proving that the fight for safety in school is far from over.

Over the past few years, Arlingtonian has covered events like this, interviewing students who want to promote change

So why is it so easy to lose motivation for change?

While the nation covered the Kavanaugh hearings in October, I think about the #MeToo movement that has dwindled away, leaving us waiting for the next high profile sexual assault incident or even Supreme Court judge who reminds us that the issue persists.

Graphic by Sophia Shen.

As a 15-year-old, I realize that we cannot focus solely on these issues and halt our lives, but if we continue to try to make change and give up when it’s a slow process nothing will ever change.

The next generation of 15-year-olds should not have to worry about these problems. I hope that they do not fear going to school, fear an attack happening where they are or fear walking alone.

These issues can be eradicated when we put our words to action and persist until our ideas become law and we provoke change in our society.

The next incident of sexual misconduct should be a surprise. The next serious incident should start a movement where we will not stand for this to continue, where we all contribute and ensure that no other child, woman or anyone will ever have these fears again.

We all need to stick to the vows we make and as students, if you demand change, then try to start it. Start a club, send the email to leaders or protest until you achieve what you want.

If we choose not to ignore the problems and realize that change is possible, this time it will end.