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    By Lyndsey Schlax–

    (Editor’s Note: Teacher Lyndsey Schlax of the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts launched the nation’s first on-site high school LGBT course in 2015. She still offers that groundbreaking class, but is now teaching Ethnic Studies this semester. The two subjects often intersect, so in this column her students share their thoughts about both Ethnic Studies and LGBT-related matters, including their concerns, what they have learned in class and more. Here, a student shares a thought-provoking piece about the recent school shootings and their aftermath.)

    Students nationwide are united in one idea: survival. Although it is not something we should be worried about, this is what the world has come to now. This, of course, does not mean all adolescents want to get rid of guns, or have the same political beliefs, but we all want to live.

    No longer are we allowed to go to school and feel safe, at least completely. Mass shootings in the U.S. happen much too often. We live in a country where we do not bat an eye to gun owning. It has become normalized. This has to be changed, to at least a degree in which people do not have the power to hurt so many others at once.

    There needs to be gun regulation, at least to some degree, if we want the lives of our future generation to be safe. The fact that some people believe arming teachers is the answer infuriates many students at my school. This is especially confusing when you think about teachers who have mental illnesses. Will they be allowed to have guns? Would they be required to lose their job? It is impossible for me to understand how this concept would be carried out on a nationwide level.

    As a student, I know I would feel completely unsafe with my teacher being “armed” at all times. The student who committed the murders in the Parkland, Florida, shooting is known to have struggled with mental health problems. These obviously had an effect on how he grew up and was treated. Do we allow students like this to continue having easy access to guns?

    Change is necessary if we want to protect the young lives of this country and all of its people.

    For more information about the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, please visit