Fighting for student rights

Senior is in process of starting H-F chapter of March for Our Lives


Rebecca May

An artful tribute: A painting of Christian Riley Garcia by senior Rebecca May. On May 18, 2018, a shooting occurred at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas where Garcia and seven other students and two teachers were killed.

Adekemi Kasali, News Editor

Senior Rebecca May is in the process of starting a chapter of March for Our Lives at H-F.

March for Our Lives was an event held on March 24, 2018 in Washington D.C. and in other cities worldwide and was organized by the student-led organization Never Again MSD, which formed in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It was one of the largest youth-led protests since the Vietnam War.

Since this event, March for Our Lives has turned into an organization who advocates for stricter gun control legislation “that will protect and save children from gun violence,” according to their website. Chapters of March for Our Lives have been created in cities and schools across the country and students like May have been getting involved in the movement.

May has always been passionate about topics such as gun violence and “it’s terrible when people who are unstable get guns without thorough background checks.”

May got the inspiration to start a March for Our Lives chapter a couple of weeks ago in her Spanish class when she and her classmates were discussing the fact a student had loose bullets in their possession at school.

“I decided I didn’t want to wait until something actually happened before taking action,” May said. “[Bringing bullets] was such a dumb thing to do and it’s scary that some people don’t take this seriously.”

May also said this group is important to have specifically in our school because “a lot of people here have been exposed to gun violence in the past,” and this group is also important to have in all schools.

“[In March for Our Lives] Students can get a jump start at being a part of society and decisions society makes,” she said. “In a generation like ours, we can’t just not care about what happens in our country.”

One of the students working with May to start the chapter is senior Audrey McKillip. McKillip got involved after May approached her after a discussion about school shootings .

“This is something that I really care about because people don’t feel safe anymore in schools, bars, concerts, churches, all of those places where we see mass shootings occurring and something needs to be done about that,” McKillip said.

McKillip believes lobbyist groups like the National Rifle Association isn’t helping when it comes to stopping gun violence.

“We’re seeing that big lobbyist groups like the NRA are buying their politicians and fear mongering voters into believing things that aren’t true, so they can keep their power and allow this violence to continue,” she said.

McKillip said schools individually don’t have the power to protect us from school shootings and this group will be a step in the right direction in achieving reform at the state and national levels.

“This year in particular, the school is trying to implement a bunch of policies they believe will help us be more safe and I think they’re well intentioned. Unfortunately, at the school level there’s not a lot they can do,” McKillip said. “At the end of the day, putting on IDs and locking the doors is not going to stop a school shooting, so making a group like this is the most that we as young people can do to keep ourselves safe.”

Another student working with May on the March for our Lives chapter is sophomore Natalia Makarewicz, whose job is to recruit and inform more people about the group.

She said she didn’t really know the extent of the school shootings until she found out more about shootings like at Stoneman Douglas, and the threat of violence at H-F made her realize that school shootings can happen “to any one of us.”

“It’s scary that we live in a country where [school shootings] have become almost normalized and we may wonder whether we will come back home from school or if someone will come to school with a gun,” Makarewicz said.

May hopes to have a march on Friday, Feb. 15, the day after the anniversary of the Parkland shooting, with a sign making day and an informational meeting held prior to this date.

At the end of the march, students will write letters to Congressman. May is also trying to get Senator Dick Durbin to attend.

“I hope this group impacts the H-F community by raising awareness and making it a safer place and also helping us to trust one another and make us even closer as we are all standing up for the cause,” Makarewicz said.