I was in my bedroom, cold, damp air coming in through my open window, when I heard children’s voices coming from University Park. And then I remembered that South Eugene High School had written to parents saying they’d heard word of a potential student walk-out in protest of gun violence in schools.
I walked to the park to observe.
I was so emotionally taken aback that there were children standing up on the soapbox they had carried from school, fearlessly speaking up on their rights for safety in order to protect — children.
The group went into five minutes of silence and then bowed their heads while listening to the names of all the people who died in Texas; and the boundaries I had tried to put up to stop feeling when I heard about tragedies came tumbling down in tears.
Once the rally was done, I began to walk home. Three students came running toward me and asked me, “Are you all right? Can we give you a hug?”
I gladly accepted, thanked them for speaking up and told them, “The power is within you.”
Thank you, dear brave children, for being part of the change. May your voices be heard.
Amy van der Linde