Editorial: Youth leading the way

Cliches about how our “obsession” with smartphones is adversely affecting our society abound, as do related ones about young people and technology.

People don’t talk to each other anymore, young people always have their face in their phone, they’d rather stay indoors and play video games, that sort of thing.

But a group of students at Princess Margaret Secondary in Penticton are showing that the stereotypes aren’t really true.

Fifteen-year-old Reese Fuller, 16-year-old Sarah Wood and 17-year-old Husain Sattar are planning to attend the Spokane March For Our Lives protest on March 24 and helping other students that want to go.

March For Our Lives is the nationwide protest being planned by survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida and their peers across the country organizing sister marches to call for reform in the U.S. of gun laws.

Pretty amazing for kids that spend all their time texting and playing video games, right? You have to admire their zeal to do something, and their ability to organize themselves.

This isn’t a field trip their school is organizing for them. In fact, the Okanagan Skaha School District has nothing to do with it — the trio is organizing it on their own, and fundraising so they don’t have to rely on parents supplying the funds.

As for the technological side of this, how much harder it would be for these students to plan a simultaneous nationwide protest without text messaging and social media?

It’s true that both of those can be distractions from participating in the larger society but in the hands of these Penticton students and their peers across the U.S. they are tools adding a new dimension to bringing about social change.

Any new technology has the potential to disrupt society, but it’s up to us to make the change positive, rather than negative. These students are on the right path.

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