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Pay Attention

By Hannah Stout

A series of
Bop! Bop! Bop!
echoes down the fluorescent lit hallway
silencing the screams of students,
yet my class remains still
almost ignoring the outside.
The stench of blood hangs high in the air
as my teacher continues to nag
about F. Scott Fitzgerald and what the green
light really symbolizes in The Great Gatsby
while bullets sing to their victims.
The teacher tells us to pay attention
to her lesson and not the desperate
pleads of friends and staff for help.
There’s nothing we can do besides focus
on getting a good education, she states as a bloody
handprint slams on the glass window of the door,
and a student body crumbles to the floor.
The government will take care of this
just like they always do, she says
reminding us of our homework tonight,
a persuasive essay on school uniforms
or video game violence.
I ask if mine can be about school shootings,
and she shoots my idea down.
Who would want to read about that?

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