Friday, May 18, 2018. All times Eastern time.
by Ember Larregui '18
Good Morning, students, teachers, adults, and residents. My name is Ember Larregui, one of the eight Student Heads of Stoneleigh-Burnham School, and I am here today to speak to you all on the issue of gun control.
During advisory lunch on Monday, one of my eighth grade advisees asked why people might not want to arm teachers. The conversation quickly shifted to our school’s policies around lockdowns and other policies meant to help keep kids safe, so we ran out of time before her question was really answered. I told her I hadn’t forgotten the original question, and said maybe we could talk on Wednesday.
“I am not a pretty girl. That is not what I… do.” - ani difranco
It’s 10 days after Parkland and, while some of the initial rawness has subsided, I know many teachers who are still having difficulty sleeping, having nightmares when they do get to sleep, crying on basically a daily basis. While one of my colleagues and I were discussing actions the kids here are resolving to take, she told me, choking back tears, “I just feel so helpless.” My office mate and I had a long conversation yesterday in which she pointed out she was so young when Columbine happened that she can’t remember a time when we didn’t have to worry about school shootings. She’s profoundly angry about that, and goodness knows I would be.
“The idea that only special people can create change is useful if you want to prevent mass movements and keep change from happening.” (Lyn Mikel Brown)
“Maybe the kids will save us.” It’s a phrase I periodically and not infrequently hear among teachers, along with “They give me hope.” I’ve said it myself - just two days ago, in fact - and no doubt will continue to, because I do firmly believe it. And on that horrible Wednesday, when the last Rock Band group of the night smiled and thanked me and walked out the door laughing together and there was nothing left to enable me to wall off my emotions about the news from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, one of my first responses was to turn immediately back to the kids. I asked Windsor’s permission to post her beautiful and powerful All School email to our blog, and she quickly and graciously agreed. It has become our most widely read blog post ever, and for good reason.
“Hey, Bill, can we trade instruments and make a lot of noise?” It’s not the kind of request I would normally go for, much as I value student voice, but I knew it was Thursday evening and the lead singer for the middle school rock band was still on their way, having gotten out of theatre rehearsal late and needing to grab a quick dinner. I said, “Let’s do it!” The kids shouted happily and jumped up and ran, practically running each other over, eventually settling into place. I counted off - 1, 2, 1 2 3 4 - and the grand and joyous cacophony began.
Hello SBS community,
Earlier this school year, I gave a speech in class meeting about gun violence and the Las Vegas mass shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds. As a united class, we wrote emails to our state officials, senators, and representatives, asking what their plan of action was, to protect the lives of citizens and anyone in the United States.