School prepares for Reach Out Day event

Kaitlin Clark, Entertainment Editor

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By picking up a pen or a phone, students will soon be contacting government officials to advocate for changes to current gun laws.

Manhattan High’s Reach Out Day will take place tomorrow from 3-6 p.m. with members of Student Council, Environmental Science Investigations and National Honors Society scheduled to bring supplies or help attendees learn how to contact people in political offices and make their opinions heard.

“Yeah, I’m definitely interested in spreading awareness,” StuCo president senior Lily Colburn said. “I think a lot of adults and even students might not realize how much school shootings and acts of violence in schools can affect other students and their feelings of safety.”

Those who attend the Reach Out Day event can expect to be aided in how to write letters to representatives, learn what to say when calling government officials and receive information on voter registration, even for students who can not yet vote.

“I think the protests, the student protests that are going to happen are great, those are things that force adults to listen, that kind of force us to realize that hey, they have a voice in this too, and most importantly, no matter what the student’s opinion is, no matter whether they agree with me or not, register to vote and vote in every election,” Biology teacher and ESI sponsor Clancey Livingston said. “That’s the most important thing, that’s the biggest power we have as citizens is the power to pick who’s in charge.”

The idea for the Reach Out Day came shortly after the Feb. 14 shooting at Parkland High School in Florida that resulted in the deaths of 17 individuals. ESI officers discussed the event and ultimately came to the decision to organize an event to discuss gun violence and regulations.

“I think people understand what’s happening, but maybe not what they can do on their own to get involved and also having people register to vote, because that’s honestly really important,” ESI president senior Grace Mosier said. “I feel like people don’t always recognize how much of an impact just registering to vote can have, and I think we want to show solidarity with Parkland.”

Following Reach Out Day, students are encouraged to continue to communicate with officials and push for their voices to be heard.

“I think it’s real easy to just sort of step back and say this is something that needs to be done quietly, people need to process this on their own,” Livingston said. “I would like for students to get experience reaching outside themselves and making themselves heard.”

The event is expected to have a large turnout with plenty of opportunities for students to voice their hope for change when it comes to gun laws and school safety.

“I hope that it’s a time that students feel welcome to come and discuss and talk and share their feelings and their thoughts about all of these issues,” Colburn said.

Organizers hope that all students come to voice their opinions on gun control and school safety as they work together to make a change.

“People have a voice, even if they don’t realize it,” Mosier said. “We’re stronger together, and I hope lots of people can come and stand with us.”


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