People must take action so students can be guaranteed to learn in safety

By Margo Greenbaum

On May 18, I presented a video that chronicled a Never Again rally I helped to organize at my school. As I completed my presentation, I informed my classmates of a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas.

That night I celebrated my graduation from my Hebrew high school. As I received my diploma, bullets were fired at graduates of a Georgia high school. I was fortunate to complete my presentation, receive praise, walk to my other classes and walk out of my high school. I was fortunate to become a graduate that evening and return home.

My thoughts, however, have been with those who do not have my good fortune. I have pondered how there has been an increase in the number of students and teachers killed by guns in U.S. schools than active duty military deaths in 2018.

I have wondered how the media has already stopped talking about the Santa Fe and Georgia shootings. I have worried about my classmates and teachers as they walk into school, not certain if they will walk out.

I am terrified I will be forced to carry a gun one day when I am a teacher and that I will have to choose which student I will save and which one I cannot. I am terrified of the thought of being shot as I perform my duties as an educator, but despite my anger and worry and fear, I still dream.

I dream that one day the government will realize the lives of innocent children are priceless. I dream that one day our leaders will be tweeting about bipartisan gun legislation being passed. I dream that one day America will experience a decade without a mass shooting.

But these dreams will never come true if we close our eyes and remain complacent. All my peers must fight for classmates, friends or family members who can no longer fight; for those who were tragically taken from us; for those who went to learn in a safe haven and never returned home.

We must never forget that sacrifice of life and potential. We must honor that pain and vote in this election year.  We must use our First Amendment right to assemble and peacefully express our anger and hopes for this country. We must fight for the priceless lives of this generation and every generation to come.

The Preamble of the Constitution declared it the responsibility of “We the People” to ensure domestic tranquility … and secure the blessings of liberty” for posterity. That includes all of us. No living generation should rest until domestic tranquility and the blessings of liberty is restored to every student in every American classroom.

George Washington once said, “The preservation of the sacred fire liberty, and the destiny of the republican government, are staked on the experimented, entrusted hands of the American people.” The experiment entrusted to our hands is incomplete.

I have a dream that my generation, Generation Z, will fulfill President Washington’s expectation and push the republican experiment closer to completion.

I have a dream that Generation Z will fight so every student can study and learn in tranquility, so the “the sacred fire liberty” can ignite their potential.

I have a dream that Generation Z will Make America Great Again.

Margo Greenbaum is a senior at Marlboro High School and a resident of Marlboro.