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  1. It’s Wednesday and I’m scared. I shouldn’t be scared. All I’m doing is standing up and walking out of my chemistry classroom at 10:00. I’ll maybe not be alone, and I’ll hold the door for someone as they follow me. There will be other students leaving other classes, and we’ll walk to the football field, behind the school. We will wait seventeen minutes. Seventeen minutes isn’t enough for their lives, but it’s symbolic. And so we will wait until three minutes before the bell. And then we will return inside. And then it will be over. The administration claims that we will not be punished. I doubt that a massive production will be made, as students across the country will be waiting outside for the same seventeen minutes. Our principal encourages us to stand up for things we’re passionate about. And yet whenever someone mentions that time frame when we will not be in class, my heart skips and my hands shake and my throat closes. And I don’t know why. Maybe my fear of failure is reminding me that I could be suspended. Maybe I’m afraid of walking out alone. Maybe I’m afraid of what will happen if I don’t walk out of Chemistry at 10:00 on Wednesday. Maybe there will be a gunman again. Maybe they’ll be someone waiting in the bleachers as the kids leave the school. Maybe we will be the next ones, and there will be a protest for the warriors who fell on the football field while protesting for the need to be safe. Maybe I’m just scared. Nothing more than that.
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