By Jada Forbes, Senior
Dear Senator Braynon,
My name is Jada Forbes, and I am a senior at iPreparatory Senior High School, in the middle of Downtown, Miami. The issue of school safety is always a part of our discussions because of how close we are to the busy metropolitan area.
Personally, the week before Valentine’s Day was very stressful because of how busy I was contributing my time to my school, extracurriculars, and home life. After a horribly long day of being on my feet, my Valentine’s Day came to an end and that is when I heard about the monstrous tragedy that happened to occur is my own backyard-- a school shooting happened a county away. In all honesty, my initial reaction was no reaction. All I thought was a numb “Wow. Another shooting.” I’ve come to realize that I am almost completely desensitized to anything surrounding the topic, and this doesn’t sit well with me, at all. The fact that I am so used to things like this happening as often as it does is a problem. People’s lives were lost at the hand of a teenager who was capable of obtaining an AR-15, and no one thought to give the idea of change a second chance. I’m sure you know this, but to emphasize the severity of the situation, this was the 18th occurence of a school shooting in the should span of 44 days. That’s ridiculous.
I didn’t show any emotion towards the heinous event until the next day, at school. A somber tone took over the entire school and most of my classmates were struck with genuine fright for their safety and that of their friends. I shouldn’t have to go to school and question whether I will be able to see my mom when I get home because my life could be threatened or taken by someone who shouldn’t have been able to obtain an assault rifle–or anyone, for the matter.
The following days were equally stressful as the day before the event, and this is because of the uprising the kids in my generation decided to produce, myself included. With that being said I am extremely proud of my counterparts and our efforts to promote change in our country. The hashtag “#ChangeIsNow” isn’t just a hashtag, but something many of Gen Z kids are living Every. Single. Day.
I decided to describe a few anecdotes to you as I write this letter, so you are able to see a very human perspective. I won’t be a student in high school for very long, as I am graduating in June, but there are thousands of students after me who will be affected if a solution is not found. I have researched your positions and appreciate that you’re actively against allowing teachers to be armed in school–as if this is a proper solution, in the first place. Banning the sales of assault rifles, period, is an extremely viable solution, and the fact that this bill failed being passed shows where our legislatures stand; whether it be with us or against us.
We need change, and we’re going to get it.
High School Senior