Key Terms: Activism, Student's involvement in Black Lives Matter, Students, and Immigration Rights, Student Activism in Climate Change and Student's Activism on Gun Control.
Student activism today might appear apolitical, but research has shown that when it is necessary college and high school students can come out and fight for their rights. Student activism has remained active in 2018 but it is clear that students of the past years in the 1970s played a more active role in the political arena because they were more vocal and organized compared to the students of today. Student activism has previously helped in the creation of policies such as the civil rights Act which could not have been achieved without student activism. This essay will assess student activism in American today regarding gun control, black lives matter, immigration, and climate change.
The recent mass shootout in schools and churches has elicited significant student activism and has led to a number of rallies by students who are seeking more tight gun control rules that can help to reduce the number of people who lose their lives due to easy illegal access and use of guns in the United States of America. However, student activism has attracted violence against students with the latest being the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school where a gun due to the school involvement in protest rallies for gun control killed 17 people. The students despite being faced with gun terror have continued to rally for strict gun control (Astor, 2018).
Astor (2018) argue that there has been a decline in student activism compared in yesteryears when college students were more entangled in politics with an example of Greensboro sit-ins in the 1960s where students were advocating for more civil rights and the end of segregation in the public spaces. Schulten (2018) argues that students have the potential to make a significant difference especially in the fight against gun violence in the United States of America. Gun violence has reached in the gates of schools, and there is a need to revive student activism to make a meaningful political change to expand gun control roles to make it more difficult for people to access guns.
In another argument by Chaffee (2018), confirms the student's involvement in the protest for tighter gun controls in the United States of America as gun violence get closer to schools. Students have a history of influencing policies through student activism, and even today students should show their solidarity with other protesting movements that are seeking strong gun control roles. The Stoneman Douglas school students are making a difference compared to millions of Americans who have been silent while guns in wrong hands continue to kill and leave many others with disabilities.
Climate Change and Students Activism
Climate change due to global warming has become an international problem and students have not been left out in the campaigns to improve environmental protection and to cut down on carbon emissions. In Swarthmore School, the students have become more aware of the impacts of climate change and are lobbying the administration to take the initiative towards fighting environmental pollution. Student activism on the issue of climate change has occurred in multiple schools most of them being inspired by the previous student's activism movements. Maine Unity College is one of the colleges in the USA which seeks to change the rhetoric on climate change by changing the school policies and energy sources.
Black Lives Matter and Immigration
Student activism in the black lives matter and immigration policies have not developed momentum as many students do not identify with the issues of immigration and brutality against black Americans. There is a need for students to develop more magnificent inspirations and help ensure justice for everyone. Student activism should be reintroduced to allow greater respect to human rights as well as the participation of students in issues that matter. Although there has been a steady increase on student activism in climate change and environmental protection and strict gun control roles in black lives matter and immigration policies, fewer students are compelled towards gun related and climate change student activism.
Student activism is the participation of the students in the creation of laws and policies that seek to improve community safety and enjoyment of universal freedoms. Student activism has been activated in 2018 primarily due to gun violence across the United States and the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas School which led to the loss of young students. Student activism can put more pressure on the government to initiate strict gun control laws that will end mass shootings. Student activism regarding improving environmental conservation is also a new niche and focus by students due to the negative impacts of global warming. The articles have identified a historical perspective of student activism which has helped in factual deduction that there is a decline in student activism in the United States of America. There is a need to encourage students towards being active in policy activism which will prepare them for their active roles in policy advocacy.
Gillis, J. (2012, December 04). To Fight Climate Change, College Students Take Aim at the Endowment Portfolio. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/05/business/energy-environment/to-fight-climate-change-college-students-take-aim-at-the-endowment-portfolio.html?mtrref=www.google.com
Astor, M. (2018, March 05). 7 Times in History When Students Turned to Activism. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/05/us/student-protest-movements.html
Schulten, K. (2018, March 07). The Power to Change the World: A Teaching Unit on Student Activism in History and Today. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/learning/lesson-plans/the-power-to-change-the-world-a-teaching-unit-on-student-activism-in-history-and-today.html
Chaffee, T. (2018, March 24). March for Our Lives Highlights: Students Protesting Guns Say 'Enough Is Enough.' Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/24/us/march-for-our-lives.html?mtrref=www.google.com
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