15-07-2020/Support High School Students Who Call BS on Guns

Support High School Students Who Call BS on Guns

For the last decade, I’ve worked with hundreds of students every year on the notorious college application essay.

When these teenagers start thinking and speaking about who they are and what they care about, almost all of them reveal by themselves as highly moral kids with idealistic goals and passions.

Above all, they know what’s right.

So it didn’t surprise me that the friends and classmates of the 14 students and three teachers slaughtered in Parkland, Florida last week have jumped into action.

Their simple and urgent message: make a move!

Plus it didn’t take long to allow them to know very well what needed to help prevent more of these senseless tragedies: Control guns.

Especially those that can take out large groups of individuals in a matter of seconds.

(The AR-15 style rifle ended up being utilized in the Parkland massacre, as well as many more in just the last couple years: 27, mostly kindergarteners, dead in Newtown, Conn.; 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas, NV; 26 churchgoers in Sutherland Springs,Texas; 49 club-goers in Orlando, Florida. This is the brief list.)

Based on their recent appearances on national television, these students also know the SINGLE, MOST EFFECTIVE first step to dramatically reduce the carnage: Ban assault-style weapons.

Just tune in to their eloquent, heartfelt speeches.

And learn about their plans to join forces with other students and make history.

These Parkland students almost instantly knew exactly what needs to happen:

  1. Speak up however you can (Find a march, spread the word on Social networking, start a club, sign petitions, talk to others…)
  2. Take in the biggest defender of all weapons: the National Rifle Association (NRA)
  3. Vote out the politicians who take the NRA’s blood money and wouldn’t imagine taking a stand to them (Just Google them!)

We’ve all heard the rantings of those who blame everything but weapons in order not to provide them up:

*It’s the fault of bad parenting*Killers will find other ways to kill*Gun ownership is really a Constitutional Right*It’s a mental health issue

Once again, the kids get it. They don’t deny that all of these are associated factors on different levels, which need to be addressed as well.

But they are smart enough to pay attention to the main ONE step which will reduce the carnage probably the most: Ban assault-style weapons.

(This is not a radical new concept: These were banned within the United States up until 2004, when Congress allow it to expire. The ban included 18 types of semi-automatic rifles, including the AK-15.)

I salute the bravery of these students to speak out.

I am heartened by their clear sense of logic and ability to see the problem and one obvious step toward a solution.

These kids have managed to pierce the fog of fake news and propaganda that has gripped our country, and paralyzed our ability to confront difficulties with reason and truth.thesis statement to kill a mockingbird racism

It’s shameful that they’re now being attacked by the forces on the market who will go to any length to keep their guns.

If you’re distraught and sickened by the constant headlines and photos of dead young people in our country, speak up.

Support these young heroes and their pleas for help and support any way you can.

Get informed. (listen in with Twitter: #NationalSchoolWalkout #MarchForOutLives #Enough)

Speak up.



Here’s Information on Upcoming Marches:

National School Walkout: March 14Protesters are contacting students to walk out of school at 10 a.m. for 17 moments (one for each and every Parkland shooting victim.)

March of Our life: March 24Sister marches are being planned through the country to support the Parkland students’ march

Students: Know Your Rights

From the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)’Your school can punish you for missing class, just like they always can, but it can’t punish you more harshly for protesting than if you had been missing class for another reason.’#KnowYourRightsIf you think your legal rights are being violated, contact your local ACLUA affiliate at aclu.org/affiliates.

I became curious how these teenagers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had such a fierce sense of social justice and so many of them stood up within hours of the tragedy to express their outrage and concerns so eloquently.

I discovered it interesting to learn about the school ended up being named after, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who had been the daughter of the first publisher of The Miami Herald newspaper, a journalist herself, a ladies’s rights activist ‘suffragette,’ an early environmentalist who lived to be 108.

Based on the progressive legacy of the school’s namesake, in my opinion there should be teachers, parents and other educators at that school who have fostered a strong sense of democracy and social justice. Bravo!

In this same spirit, in my opinion all of us who work with students have a duty to support these teenagers in whatever way we are able to.

Lives rely on it.

I salute these students for taking a stand for their Constitutional rights and participating in Marches and other peaceful protests demanding gun control policies to keep them safe, particularly in their schools.

As both a parent, educator and patriot, I plan to march alongside them in my community (either Orange County or Los Angeles). Aspire to see you there!

It’s the time of year when high school seniors are learning where they got accepted to colleges or universities.

Yay! Good for you! Time for you to celebrate!

Many are also opening those dejecting rejection letters.

When they didn’t get into their dream school, that may be a bummer.

If they did not enter some of their schools, it’s really a time of utter panic.

Therefore I wanted to share a timely story about a young woman who recently sought my help after experiencing the wildly unpredictable and emotionally charged quest for the right school and brutal college rejection.

(I will call her Anne, a pseudonym since she is in the centre of applying to transfer colleges now.)

It was a bumpy road, and she learned priceless lessons, which will help a few of you (including transfer students!).

By her junior year of high school, Anne was some of those hardworking science/math kids who cleaned up on her grades and standardized tests.

When it came time to use to college, she knew she wanted to be an engineer and was confident of her chances.

She put on four top universities in mechanical engineering. Only four.

(You can easily see what’s coming, right?)

Come spring, she got the news. Anne did not get into any schools.

Happily, Anne had a strong sense of self, really realistic and focused. She explained that she ended up being disappointed, but perhaps not devastated.

Instead of freaking away and feeling sorry for herself, she quickly analyzed where she went wrong.

In her head, since her grades and test scores were superior, she deduced that she was either lacking in impressive extra-curriculars or her essays were lackluster.

That fall, she enrolled in her neighborhood college, signed up for a slew of extracurricular activities including a rigorous ROTC program! and kept her eye on her goal: mechanical engineering.


I suspect you already caught Lesson One from college rejection: Always have back-up schools when applying to college. Certain, buy your dream schools if you have a reasonable shot, but include a couple you have solid opportunity to enter because well, and also a couple fall-back, shoe-in schools.

Did you catch Lesson Two from college rejection?

Here it is: If you did not get into your targeted schools, no matter why, don’t despair. Certain, shed a few tears. That’s only natural.

Keep in mind you always have options. It might just take you longer to get where you want to go.

Now here is Lesson Three from college rejection. It’s my personal favorite.

When Anne subscribed to her classes at her community (2-year) college in Southern California, she thought to herself that since she blew her single-minded career track, she might as well loosen up and take the chance to broaden her horizons.

She chose to just take some classes that she wouldn’t necessarily have experienced the opportunity if she dove directly into a demanding mechanical engineering track.

(Isn’t she a smart cookie?)

Of course, Anne had to just take her core electives, but she also remembered her interest in biology sparked by her high school physiology class. So she included a biology class, and loved it, and continued to take two chemistry classes. She loved those two.

The upshot? During taking her two-year community college detour, Anne discovered that she was more interested in a field of study in bio-med than mechanical engineering.

That’s huge! It’s fantastic to truly have the time and luxury to find away what you actually want to do in college, before you start your junior year (when you typically declare a major) and lock into a slate of particular courses and profession path. Not to mention the bundles of money you can save getting your electives (core classes) from the means for a fraction of an university or private college!

Of course, you can change up your college journey if you want, but it frequently can run you more time, money and effort.

But here is the Lesson Three that I love so much: Because of her initial setback not getting into her dream target schools for mechanical engineering, Anne gave herself some breathing room (2 yrs) to test out other possible interests.

Believe it or otherwise not, in your early 20s, lots of emotional growth can take spot even over the short span of a year or two. (One reason Gap Years are so popular.)

The better you know yourself, the wiser decisions you will make about your own future. So a little more time usually helps.

Anne also had the maturity to perhaps not concentrate on her flub up (applying to only four super competitive schools with no back-ups) and instead continued to appear forward, worked to determine where she went wrong and adjusted her course.

And appear exactly what happened! She is now right back on the right track to a profession that feels perfect for her true passions and interests.

If you’re waiting for your acceptance letters, and for some reason things don’t go as planned and a dose of college rejection, remember Anne:

  1. Do not freak out. It’s not worth the power.
  2. Try to find away what went wrong and study from any mistakes. Sometimes, it’s just the luck associated with draw, too.
  3. Get a new plan. It may not be what you had in your mind, but swallow your pride, ignore the bluster talk from annoying friends and parents, and adjust your course.
  4. Remember, it never hurts to buy yourself a little more time for you to really determine that which you truly love, what you are good at, and exactly what makes the most sense. You are young. Time is on your side. And if you are like Anne, you might be amazed that a bump in the road can actually help set you on an better yet adventure!

I have to add that Anne also made an extra effort to ace her transfer essay. (Remember, among the reasons she suspected she didn’t get into those top schools was that she didn’t put lots of energy into her essays.) This time, she took enough time to master and teach herself what made a great transfer essay. And yes, she sought some outside help (me).

As you’re able to probably guess, I told her to basically tell this inspiring story of her college quest so far, including the disappointments, and how she recovered, and the surprise of getting a new love and goal. If you’re transferring, you will likely be asked to share the ‘reason you are transferring.’

Tell your story, too! And include, like Anne, what you learned from the process.