How Can Students Have a Voice?


Laya Reddy

As students, we often feel repressed. We feel like we can’t do or say everything we want because we’re kids. Even when we are able to get our voice out, we feel it isn’t heard by others. Contrary to popular belief, kids have strong opinions on a variety of issues, from birth control to gun control. Kids do care about politics, but their voices aren’t heard.

As evidenced by the March For Our Lives, students have the ability to not only voice their opinions, but to organize in a fashion that garners the attention of the entire nation. Parkland shooting survivors like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez made bold statements on gun control, which were heard by millions-but students shouldn’t have to experience a tragic event to have their voices be heard.

Our opinions should matter, but we don’t always feel like they do. We know that policies can only change through politicians, but we aren’t politicians. So does it matter if we have strong opinions on issues if nothing ever changes?

With the right facets, though, we can make a difference. Whether students walked out or remained in their classrooms on March 14th, they made a statement. After the Walk-Out, several students who chose not to participate claimed they didn’t walk out because they knew it wouldn’t matter- but it does. With students in schools across the nation walking out in solidarity, they showed politicians that their policies were affecting students as well. Even if they didn’t effect a drastic change in gun control laws, the students proved to the nation that if they are directly affected by decisions made by politicians, then they should have a say in those decisions. We appointed the House of Representatives for that very reason. We wanted individuals to represent us and fight for our beliefs, and for some, they are, but for many, they aren’t.

Students can voice their opinions in several different ways, whether it’s posting on social media, or participating in protests and marches, or writing letters to our representatives. Even if it doesn’t immediately lead to a change in policy, it will prove to people worldwide that students are invested in their country, and they want to make changes to improve it. It will prove that students care.

As children, we may not have the right to vote for our politicians, but we do have the power to educate and influence others to vote for them. If we want a direct change in policies, then we need to spread the word about candidates who we feel represent us. We need to volunteer for their campaigns and promote them to our friends and family. We need to exercise the little power that we have to make a difference.

Students have a voice that must be heard. Special elections for District 8 are on April 24th. Use your voice to enact changes in policy by helping elect a candidate that best represents your beliefs.