For people in school, there are only really a handful of ways to protest. One of the most popular is the walkout.
It wasn’t that long ago when the March For Our Lives crowd pushed for such a protest, sparking kids walking out of class all over the nation, usually with the encouragement of their teachers and principals.
Yet it’s been fairly quiet of late.
For one Oregon high school, that’s going to change.
Students at Lake Oswego High School are set to lead a walkout against gun violence after a student was shot outside Jefferson High School in Portland.
Those taking part in the planned walkout say they hope to encourage people to vote in support of Measure 114, which is on the November ballot.
Of course, we’ve talked about Measure 114 previously. It’s nothing new and while it may be how Oregon wants to go, it’s unlikely that it will survive a legal challenge if it becomes law.
But that’s neither here nor there.
What I want to talk about is the idea of student walkouts as protests against the Second Amendment.
In theory, the walkout shows that these students support or oppose a given measure. It’s kind of like a boycott, only in a more compact timeframe.
They’re also kind of meaningless.
See, these so-called protests can’t actually accomplish much of anything. That’s because there are two potential outcomes. One, of course, is that few students participate. That shows a general apathy for the issue and basically backfires in the organizers’ faces.
Yet even a massive rate of participation doesn’t mean anything.
These are high school kids. Do you remember being in high school?
If so, you probably remember being fairly apathetic about almost everything that didn’t directly impact you. Yet when an opportunity to ditch class and not get in trouble presented itself, how many of us actually opted to stay in class?
So even if there’s a massive turnout for this walkout, there will always be a lot of people who simply don’t take the numbers seriously. Even if every student is a true believer, a lot of people simply won’t believe it.
Even if they did, so what?
Let’s be honest here. At this point, most people have their opinions on Measure 114 already in place. It’s unlikely anyone is going to be swayed by the opinions of a bunch of high school students, particularly ones they have never met.
Walkouts have a problem of showing a general opinion, but rarely include any concrete discussion of the issue in question. That’s not exactly going to change minds.
Then again, maybe I’m just old, but I can’t help but feel like someone figured this was a good excuse to skip a class–and maybe that test they didn’t want to study for–and do so in a way they’d be applauded rather than punished for.
Either way, this walkout isn’t going to accomplish much of anything, but if it makes the kids feel better, who am I to judge?