I am a junior in high school, and I attend a private school in Houston, Texas. My school is taking several students to the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C.; however, believing that this was not enough to remedy the issue of the culture [racialized] gun violence present in our school, I anonymously put up a few posters in two of the girls bathrooms regarding the dates for school walkouts for gun control, how to contact local government representatives, and how to educate oneself on the money the NRA gives to political organizations during election season. The posters contained no foul language or anything of the sort. I read the student handbook, which does not have any rules against such action.
The school staff said the following with regards to my posters — “[i]t puts us in a bad position as a school, we don’t know who is doing it but we can think of a few names”. The same day, the admin removed all of my posters from the bathrooms and met with teachers in private regarding my posters. I wanted to express my disdain at this situation.
To me, this harkens back to Martin Luther King Junior's words on the white moderate in his Letter From Birmingham Jail:
"First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate...the white moderate who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action'; who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom".
The school I attend, in this particular instance, seemed more devoted to 'order' than to justice; the posters were not school-sanctioned, so they had to be removed — the school supports gun control, but only on their time. This is a form of 'convenient activism' — halting direct action on the part of the demographic dying due to guns is the negative peace, the absence of tension, which they prefer.
But who better to create change than the teenagers who are being shot at? It is Students of Color within Generation-Z that are standing up now; people like Emma Gonzalez, leading the fight against [racialized] gun violence. Revolution does not occur on the watch of the oppressor.
Before they were removed, my posters received positive attention from students, which was my intention. Students were spreading the word on how to make a difference, using my posters as a guide.
I will include a printable version of my poster below, feel free to put it up everywhere you can, I know I am going to; I've been distributing them around my neighborhood and will continue to post them in public places.