Credit: Michelmond

‘We won’t remain silenced.’ Five Houston youth on school gun violence

Active Shooter Drills 

Teachers lock your doors, 

close the blinds,

turn off the lights, 

go to the furthest corner of the room,

because this is an active shooter drill 

Stay still,

don’t make a sound, 

because this is an active shooter drill.

Students crouched in a corner,

hugging their knees, 

“Shh” the teacher whispers 

because this is an active shooter drill 

Footsteps thump across the floor,

the door handle turns,

a second passes, 

they walk away,

because this is an active shooter drill 

in America.

– Vivian, 17

You walk into first period, tight chest, bated breath

Inconsolable because what if you’re next

Check for the baseball bat your teacher kept behind the door

A promise of her determination to protect

Just in case

Students file out of class after fourth

Policemen and their dogs line the hall

All because of a note left in the graffiti-covered stalls of the boy’s bathroom

Children rush to their classrooms and the safety of a locked door

Just in case

– Mikhaila, 16

The first time they had a drill.

It was an unnatural phenomenon.

A part of growing up, perhaps.

A maybe, someday, just in case.

Funny how so much time has passed.

This practice ingrained 

Into ritual.

The reason they do it has not changed at all.

The maybe, 


Are they next?

– Caroline, 15 

He was too young.

Still a boy in my eyes. I continued to grow older and he would stay forever the same.

The sink is still stained and the deafening silence rings in my ears.

It’s all the same but it feels like a world of difference.

The doors locked when I needed them opened the most.

In all of 30 seconds, it was done.

The noise rings in my ears.

The screams barreling down the hall echo.

It was too easy to do.

too accessible.

If possible someone should’ve helped.

So much happened in so little time.


He was too young.

– Anonymous

Afterword: If you would like to support March for Our Lives Houston, you can donate here: Donate ( , visit our website, and also follow @mfolhouston on Instagram for more updates about our activities.

Section: Government
Topic: Guns
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