Student leaders

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Condolences to the families and friends of the 17 students and teachers murdered last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

I’m so sick of this shit.

This pattern of disturbed shooters murdering people in public spaces needs to end. (See “Break the pattern,” editorial, page 5).

One beacon of hope: the passionate, well-spoken group of students who survived the attack and are now emerging as leaders, speaking truth to power, rejecting empty promises of “thoughts and prayers,” challenging cowardly elected officials to debates, and calling on congress to enact the gun control reform favored by a majority of Americans.

“The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us … and us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call B.S.,” said Emma González, one of the students, in a fiery speech following the attack.

The students have organized a gun-control advocacy organization, Never Again MSD, and are planning events like the “March for Our Lives,” a nationwide demonstration including a march in Washington, D.C., on March 24.

I’ve read and seen interviews with several MSD students over the last week—González, as well as Cameron Kasky and David Hogg—and I’ve been impressed with how well informed and brave these students are. I get the sense that it’s a good school, with at least one teacher in the mix who empowered these students toward fearless expression and clarity of mind.

For now, it’s important to acknowledge that these young people have survived something unspeakably horrific. They’ve seen their friends and teachers die needless deaths. They have passion, righteous anger, and they’re clear about what they think needs to happen.

We all need to listen.