Fox Chapel Area students join cry for gun control with letter-writing campaign
Fox Chapel Area students are fortifying the youth-led nationwide rally for gun control and demand for legislation that could prevent a massacre similar to that at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
The school was the site of a mass shooting where accused gunman Nikolas Cruz stormed the building and killed 17 people with an AR-15 rifle.
Fox Chapel Area students swiftly joined a movement to advocate for stricter gun laws.
The high school’s social activism club launched a letter campaign to tell Pennsylvania legislators that children are tired of “having to live in fear,” club co-founder and vice-president Angelique Uku said.
“It’s time for adults to take responsibility over us,” Uku said. “We should not have to beg for our lives.”
Florida school massacre survivors organized the Never Again group to demand new laws. Upcoming rallies to focus on legislative action include the “March for Our Lives” in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and other major cities on March 24.
Shady Side Academy junior Erin Simard and her sister, Emma, a freshman, are helping to raise awareness for the event.
“We saw what happened in Parkland, Florida, and we were extremely moved by the actions of the students,” Erin Simard said. “It’s our obligation as fellow high-schoolers to assist them in their efforts to create change.”
At Fox Chapel Area, students want to submit 1,000 letters to local and state legislators by the end of the month. Club members are seeking donations of stamps and postcards, and welcome letters from the community. They can be sent to the Social Activism Club at Fox Chapel Area High School, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.
“Now more than ever it is important to have our voices heard,” said Diana Crookston, president of the social activism club founded this year.
With 62 members, the club is dedicated to social justice and creating a more inclusive world for all, Crookston said.
“The students in Florida have shown what an important voice young people can have for change. We want to contribute to the movement.”
Now is the time, club Secretary Hannah Gordon said.
“Gun violence goes far beyond mass shootings,” she said. “It travels into neighborhoods with gang violence and even into our homes. We cannot let this horrific epidemic shape our futures. We must step up, speak out and make a positive impact to better our communities and future generations.”
Uku said adults shouldn’t dismiss pleas from youth.
“We are not ignorant due to our age,” Uku said. “If politicians will not act, then, hopefully, campaigns like this will spur them into action.”