Last year, students at Juneau-Douglas High School walked out of class in solidarity with those killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. They walked out and marched to the Alaska State Capitol to demand their elected representatives engage in a discussion on how to prevent a similar tragedy in Alaska. Passion ran high that day. Students took turns at the microphone to share fear and frustration with the adults supposedly working to keep them safe who seemed to be doing nothing. The crowd filled the street in front of the Capitol steps. Former Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott were there. They didn’t step to the mic. Like the rest of the crowd, they came to listen.
Feb. 14 was the anniversary of the shooting, and many of those same students returned the Capitol steps. They wore matching “Students Demand Action” T-shirts. They repeated their frustration with inaction by adults. Neither Gov. Mike Dunleavy nor Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer was there. I’m not sure what’s on their agenda was more important than engaging with students to prevent school killings.
Governor, listening is the first step toward a solution. Hope to see you in audience next time.
• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.