Watch Teens Who Walked Out of School Explain How Adults Have Failed Them on Gun Control

Students across the country walked out of class Wednesday in a massive protest against the federal government's failure to act to strengthen gun control.


On PBS NewsHour, two students who participated in the walkout, Ceilidh Kern, a sophomore, and Jaylah Ross, argued that adults have failed their generation. As older Americans remained entrenched in the status quo that perpetuates gun violence, it's the student protesters who have shown a remarkable ability to advocate on this issue.

"I am very excited to turn 18, to be able to vote and to be able to express my opinions at the ballot box," Kern said. "A lot of my peers who showed up today are very energized because they realize a lot of these politicians aren't representing their views. And so they really want to personally make sure there are new politicians who will."

Ross noted that as much as people were motivated to play a part in the democratic process, they are also motivated by fear. No wants to "hide under desks," she said.

"Fear does play a big role," she continued. "It's a motivation for us to get things done."

Kern argued that the protest was effective in part because it interrupted the usual school day, drawing the attention of the media and elected officials. And indeed, student activism seems to be playing a big part in keeping the call for gun control going a month after the Parkland shooting. The Washington Post found that the media paid much more attention to the shooting in the weeks after compared to other similar national incidents—suggesting that the students speaking out really are making a difference.

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