An Anne Arundel County Middle-School Student Speaks Out on School Gun Violence

The author, Morgan Zivkovich, cares deeply about her fellow students. Photo by Heathr Zivkovich

My name is Morgan Zivkovich. I am in 8th grade at Bates Middle School and am currently in the Performing and Visual Arts Program (PVA) for band. I am going to Annapolis High School next year for the PVA dance program.

For the walkout on March 14th I was asked to make a speech. I spent a very long time working on my speech, turned it in and even though my guidance counselor and principal loved it, they took my speech out because there wasn’t enough time. On March 14th two students spoke and the principal spoke the rest of the time. Wasn’t this walkout supposed to let STUDENTS say what they needed to say? But no, the principal basically spoke about how this was a bad thing and how it shouldn’t happen again. Oh, and did I mention that if you walked out of the school you would get suspended? WHAT? Are you going to expect us to be ok with just saying Thoughts and Prayers? No! Here is my speech that I was supposed to say instead of the principal talking the entire time.

Hi I’m Morgan.

First, could I please ask for a moment of silence to honor the lives that were lost on February 14th while I read their names:

Alyssa Alhandeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duqye Anguiano, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jamie Guttenburg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, Peter Wang

Thank you.

In Australia, there was one mass shooting. They banned all guns and they never had a mass shooting again. The same goes for Scotland. Isn’t this what we should be doing? In America we had 346 mass shootings just in 2017 alone. We have done almost nothing until the shooting in Parkland to stop this. In fact, President Trump received $36.6 million from the National Rifle Association to help with his campaign. Doesn’t that give us evidence that he is doing nothing to stop these horrific attacks?

Look at the person next to you, imagine them being gone in the next three seconds. How would your life change?

What can we do to prevent more mass shootings?

Do we turn our schools into prisons? With metal detectors and bars on the windows?

Will that make us feel safe?

Or will that just scare us more?

Do we honestly think that hating the people who don’t do anything will help? Society as a whole should be taking care of each other, everyone, not pushing people away because they think differently.

Will we just sit at home and watch the outcome on TV and Facebook and not do anything because it doesn’t affect us personally?

They say more mental health care will make a difference, perhaps by giving some of these shooters the attention they need and deserve, but will it solve the problem entirely?

Think, decide what you feel can make a change, and then take action.

Let’s make our voices louder than gunfire!


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