Hope From The Kids In My Small Upstate NY Town


My Crocheted Gun and Baby Blanket Postcard. Photo by Jon Katz

Something different is happening.

Today the students in my small Upstate NY town participated in the School Walkout that is taking place all over the country.

Many of these kids grew up with guns, grew up hunting.  This is not a partisan issue for them.  It’s about being safe at school.

The Students of Cambridge Jr/Sr High School  organized a rally and wrote a letter to the community, in their words:   “…to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.”

These students are demanding something so basic from their government, something I wouldn’t think they had to ask for,  to be safe in their schools.

At the end of the letter they ask Congress to “pay attention“, because many of them will be able to vote in the November and Presidential elections.

Not only are Highschool students all over the country speaking out, but for a change,  they are being heard.

They also have  a lot of  support from the adults around them.  These are not the battles of the 1960’s where anyone over 30 was not to be trusted. What they are asking for is what the majority of people in America already want.

They are not alone.

It’s so easy to put down kids, say they are naive, don’t understand the realities of the way the world works.

But the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and too many other children throughout the country, have more experience with guns and shootings than so many of the adults who are being dismissive of them.

That  coupled with their  inexperience, or fresh take on the things most of us have found hopeless,  their passion and determination, is just what’s needed to bring about change.

Reading the letter written by the students at Cambridge High gives me hope.   And not just about the issue of gun control but about the kind of people who will one day have power in our country.

You can read the whole letter written by the Students at Cambridge Jr/Sr High here. 

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