LETTER: Richmond County students ‘heroes’ for standing up, walking out

To the editor:

The 70 Richmond County students who walked out of their classes on Wednesday, March 14 are all heroes to me. Despite knowing that they would face in-school suspensions if they dared to walk out, they did it anyway. This, to me, was not your typical act of defiance. Instead, it was a very courageous demonstration of solidarity in joining with the survivors of the recent Parkland High School massacre in Florida and other concerned students around our nation who marked the one-month anniversary of this tragedy in this manner.

It is not always easy to take a stand or to do the right thing. Often, it is easier to just do nothing. A lot of times, there are repercussions in doing so, usually from critics who double as cowards. In this case, the repercussions involved in-school suspensions (which I find so ironic because schools usually encourage students to be independent thinkers, yet, when they are, they are sometimes penalized). Still, this was definitely a big deal, especially for students who generally abide by school rules. And, it was an even bigger deal because it was for a greater cause: supporting those who were hurting, injured, or killed because of events beyond their control. There should eventually be something in your heart that guides you to look beyond your own circumstances to reach out to comfort others.

And these brave students had it in their hearts and did exactly that. They reached out, showing how change is effected. Standing up, speaking out, and being brave, without violence, motivated and determined to make things better for everyone. They should be proud of themselves.

We are living in a precarious world where, at some time or another, we may need the strength of others to carry us. Hopefully, there will be people like these 70 students around.

Charlette Rhue Bennett