Thousands of San Jose students from the Alum Rock Unified School District are demanding safer schools and communities and they’ve now taken those demands directly to Congress.
The original plan was just to take an educational trip to the Capitol, But the group of more than 30 eighth graders ended up becoming the carriers of their community's voice.
“After what happened in Texas, We are afraid." That was the message a group of eight grade students from San Jose gave U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and South Bay Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren after handing them 3,000 letters from local students who want change immediately.
NBC Bay Area caught up with some of the student writers last week, all of them from the Alum Rock Unified School District. They launched a letter writing campaign right after the Uvalde, Texas massacre.
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“Our students used their voice to talk about what schools should look like. How to make them safe. What should be done differently,” Dr. Annya Artigas, coordinator of Mental Wellness Support Services for Alum Rock School District
Among the students’ demands, is an end to the sale of weapons of mass destruction and a plea to conduct mental health and background assessments for everyone buying firearms.
“The best way to empower our kids is to have them understand that they have the opportunity and the ability to do their part and help and share voice in support of others, who are unable to,” Artigas said.
In a statement, both Padilla and Lofgren said they applaud their activism and advocacy and promised to share their stories.
Lofgren wrote that “They left me hundreds of letters and I intend to read each one.”