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To the Editor:

This is an open letter to the students who walked out of their classes on March 14:

One of the hardest actions responsible students can take is to stand up for their strongly-held beliefs, particularly those that impact their fellow students and the greater society, in the face of sanctions and punishment. To all of you who walked out of your classes on March 14 in memory of the 17 killed in Parkland Florida, I say congratulations on placing others above self and kudos for taking the actions you did knowing that punishment might be your reward. Your acts of concern and leadership show a strength of character missing in today’s political scene. It gives me hope for a brighter future, and, I pray, a safer school and community environment.

Thank you as well to the educators who embraced the teachable moment and wisely crafted a civics lesson around it. The participating students were representing not only their peers, but also the teachers, administrators, office staff, custodians, and cooks who likewise are in the line of fire. They stood up for church-goers, movie attendees, country music fans, mall shoppers, and all of the innocents caught in these senseless attacks.

The old saying is that is takes a village to raise a child. I think the gutsy stand the student leaders took on March 14 demonstrates, and if we adults listen closely, that sometimes it takes the children to raise the village.

Rex Duncan

Du Quoin

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