Mia Belluomini: Growing up in an age of violence | TheUnion.com

Mia Belluomini: Growing up in an age of violence

I have grown up in the age of violence.

I learned to sit under a table and be silent,

I memorized lockdown procedures like math formulas,

By that time violence had been normalized,

I learned to be scared of people that would hurt me,

Getting shot before getting a diploma or degree,

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With the news telling me of new shootings,

The solution put second to fighting and feuding,

Meanwhile, the list of victims was growing,

Every student, terrified, knowing,

That it could have been them or their best friend,

Their school could be where their life would end,

Their education was driven by uncertainty,

Every day they came home was a blessing.

But there are so many students who didn't.

Too many shooters in America's prisons,

And all the people in power saying it's OK,

That there's no need for anything to change,

They don't know what it's like to be my age,

They don't have any reason to be afraid,

But I do, and I don't think it's right,

Others think so, they're starting to fight.

And I will join them because I might save my own life.

Mia Belluomini, 18

Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning