Hundreds Join Downtown Capitol March During Student Walkout
Hundreds gathered on the steps of the state Capitol in downtown Boise for the national walkout Wednesday. This felt like a real rally flanked by police officers on bike and suv. These kids came in carloads.
I wasn't sure if anyone would show up only because most kids were just walking out of school. That said, it was obvious people followed social media's direction to meet at the Capitol and they listened.
What was this march about? Guns? Mental health? Safety? Idaho State Representative, Paulette Jordan said,
We failed you. We didn't do our job and I'm sorry. We let you down. Well, I'm on your side, NOW. I'm listening to you, NOW. and I'm excited to work with you, NOW.
That was a somber moment of humility in front of this very passionate crowd that wants change. There was no doubt once I arrived that these kids want gun reform. These signs definitely paint a vivid picture of where the minds of students and parents are.
Before you take social shots at these students please take a moment. These are kids. Period. Some of them saw their best friend commit suicide recently. These impressionable teens have walked into school to find out their favorite teacher took his life. They live through a version of modern bullying and hate that is hard for the strongest minded adult to deal with. I truly believe this is less about guns and more about emotions that have been mounting for a long time.
Talk with your teens, sisters, brothers, husbands or wives that might be teachers. I got into an argument with our engineer today because he didn't feel it appropriate to go silent on Kiss for 17 minutes today for those 17 teachers and students who lost their lives in Florida.
He was right. Whenever you turn off your radio station you lose people. No doubt. My response was simple. You have to stand for something in life and sometimes the rules don't apply. Maybe it was the right thing or it could've been an irresponsible moment. We live in a great community and it's important for to stand with the kids who always have OUR backs. We don't have to agree with everything they say, but we can definitely help empower them to speak.
There was one guy that walked around shouting with his Confederate Flag. The hundreds rained down boos and chants to drown his message out. Someone grabbed the megaphone and to the crowd that his right to freedom of speech is why we love this great country and that's when she followed with,
The same right that is afforded to us! Ladies and gentlement I'm 100,000 percent with you but stay with me. Ignore those distractions and stay with the powerful message.
The crowd erupted! I also remember Rep. Paulette Jordan telling these kids,
We need voices like yours because the future of this state belongs to all of you.
Let's not destroy our kids because their beliefs aren't ours. Let's no belittle them because they are just, "young". Let's inspire our young adults to continue to find their voice and speak about whatever they like. Standing up with a voice is more inspirational that destroying someone behind a keyboard.
Here's how Idaho and everyone expressed themselves today.