Cancel Thornton Junior High School's Great America Field Trip

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On March 14, 2018, the students of Thornton Junior High School stampeded off school grounds as a result of a student-led walkout honoring the victims of the school shooting in Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida. However, rather than respecting the innocent lives that were lost in this recent tragedy, the students abused the 17 minutes by raiding the nearby shopping plaza.

It was utter chaos. Middle schoolers were jumping onto moving vehicles and shoplifting from stores. A few even attempted to run off with bottles of vodka from the liquor store. Store owners tried locking their doors to prevent their products from getting stolen but were overrun by teenagers.

The event was supposed to commemorate the deaths of the seventeen teenagers (and to support gun laws), but Thornton’s students simply used this moment as an opportunity to skip third period and to hang out with friends. Some even stated, “I hope more kids die so more things like this can happen.”

This kind of behavior is downright scandalous and should not go unpunished. There are probably many grieving families who miss their children right now and Thornton’s students could care less. They would rather steal from liquor stores and have Little Caesars than show any kind of respect for those families. The students of Thornton Junior High School need to learn that school shootings can happen anytime and should not be joked about. If these students want to treat death as a joke, they need to be taught a lesson.

Now apparently, many of the students in Thornton say that only about 40 out of the 1000 (rough estimate) students acted up. That leaves the rest 960 innocent. Or so it seems. If 960 of the teenagers in the walkout were supposed to be "innocent" and were respecting the people who died and / or were supporting gun laws, then they would have done something to stop the others from acting out. However, according to the statements from Thornton students (innocent or not) and Instagram posts, NOT EVEN ONE person made an effort to do anything. In fact, most of the kids who claimed to be innocent either said that they were chilling with their friends or watching on the sidelines. In other words, they were doing nothing to stop the others from creating chaos. If the students who claimed to be innocent were being respectful, then they would have told everyone else to do the same, or at least attempted to. You can't be respectful and therefore innocent if you allow others to be the complete opposite. 

Now, I want you to imagine this scenario. What if you saw a bully beating another person up? You would want to do something about it, right? Whether you confront the bully yourself or simply get help, you would make a difference. Now, what if that kid who was bullied was beaten to death, but this time you weren’t there when it happened. Then the next day you hear about the event and your friend tells you that there were adults watching the entire time. Would you be disgusted with those adults? Would you be mad at them for not calling the police or breaking up the fight? Would you wish that they got punished for not doing anything?

Thinking back to the walkout, the same exact thing happened. There were several students who were committing very immoral acts, but no one called for help or confronted those students. They just watched.

Yes, there were many kids who did nothing wrong, but they didn’t try to do the right thing either. If they were aware that the other kids were being immature and destructive, then why didn’t they do anything to stop the events from happening? The innocent students could have easily overpowered the students who were acting up or simply got help from Thornton’s staff.

This situation isn’t any different from the following: A police officer who witnesses a crime taking place but does nothing to stop it. A teenager whose friends take cocaine despite that he or she knew that drugs are illegal. A person in a gas station who sees someone stealing a bag of chips but doesn’t tell the store manager.

All these situations vary in severity but can be prevented with one simple solution: the person who witnessed the wrongful act or who knew that the act was wrong but did nothing to prevent it, should have told someone of higher power or authority, or should have told the person(s) committing the act to stop.

Again, many students may not have participated in stealing food or jumping on vehicles, but they could have done something about it. Instead, they did nothing. That itself is wrong. Accordingly, I implore you to sign this petition in canceling both the 7th grade and 8th grade Great America field trips. Thornton’s students can not just act up like this and then expect a reward for their actions, nor should the school invest their money towards occasions that are undeserved