Nauset Horizons

Nauset Students Join in a National Movement

Myles Pellegrini, Reporter

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WASHINGTON, DC- Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day dedicated to love and the expression of fondness. Yet in 2018, Valentine’s Day was one of carnage and violence.That morning, over three thousand young students and staff members went to school, and 17 of them never returned. The  shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, perpetrated by Nicholas Cruz, unleashed a wave of protests across the nation and a surge in support for comprehensive gun control.

In response to that fateful day, high school students across the country united in protests that were aimed to pressure our nation’s legislature into passing gun control measures. Emma Gonzalez and her fellow classmates,, organized a national march in the nation’s capital on March 24. This march, entitled the March For Our Lives, was held in order to apply pressure to Congress in response to the Parkland shooting. The march sparked support almost immediately, and over 800,000 students and allies descended upon D.C. to show their support for gun control reform.

Ben Niggel, a junior at Nauset Regional High School, has long been a steadfast supporter of comprehensive gun control legislation, yet his activism regarding this issue became more fervent following the Parkland shooting. Niggel organized a bus service for Nauset students to travel to Washington, D.C. so that Cape Cod children could attend the momentous March For Our Lives. “I wanted to encourage student activism, and to make sure that every student at Nauset and some surrounding schools had the opportunity to participate in the March For Our Lives,” says Niggel. Over fifty students from Nauset Regional High School signed up to attend the march, as well as five students from Mashpee High School.

The charter bus left Cape Cod in the early morning of March 24, and arrived in Washington, D.C. shortly before the beginning of the March. Nauset senior Isabel Pellegrini noted, “I was astounded by the atmosphere in Washington; I have never been apart of an organization so large and so powerful,” she added, “I really felt like we were making a substantial impact on national policy.”  Students heard groundbreaking speeches from Emma Gonzalez, Vic Mensa, David Hogg, and Naomi Wadler, who not only focused on the Parkland shooting, but discussed inner-city gun violence, Columbine, and Sandy Hook.

Every student who attended the march left with a sense of empowerment, for they had just participated in the largest student activism effort since the 1970s. The March For Our Lives propelled the public’s demand for gun control into the national spotlight, and constructive debates about the issue have begun. The Nauset community should be very proud, because on March 24, 2018, over fifty students and faculty marched for their ideologies and their lives.

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Nauset Students Join in a National Movement