Teens express concerns

Decades ago, we remember a sign that said, “Teenagers: Move out now while you still know everything.”

Of course teenagers don’t know everything, but they think they do — that’s the joke.

But it’s not a joke. Our youths are paying attention to what is going on around them, and last Wednesday, they took a stand for what they believed.

If you agree with them or not, they did more than post on social media about gun violence or kindness and did something that captured the attention of parents, teachers, peers, younger kids, adults, and media. Nationwide, students walked out of class while others “walked up” to talk to fellow students who weren’t in their social circle.

If the efforts weren’t coordinated, if they weren’t organized, if they didn’t walk out but just had a moment of silence in the classroom, no one would be talking about it.

It takes bravery to stand up for what you believe, talking to someone new or making a public statement about gun laws. We’re proud of the kids who take action to try to make the world a better place for themselves, their kids — and frankly, for us.

At the very least, these teenagers showed us all a better path toward communication. They didn’t throw insults at each other or make threats. They held two “demonstrations” on the same day without anyone getting hurt or breaking any rules. The students who walked out in solidarity of the 17 killed in Parkland, Fla., communicated the planned protest with administration at their schools and let teachers know in advance. Administrators at our schools decided to support students in their rights to the First Amendment.

Whether or not the teenagers who did something besides stare at a screen on Wednesday will make a difference in people’s lives through changed laws or changed society in the classrooms remains to be seen.

We are glad to see teens doing something, learning through actions, and being engaged in society.

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