UPDATE: The student-survivors of Great Mills High School launched their GoFundMe page on August 15, 2018. Within two weeks they had raised the $3,000 necessary to travel to Parkland, Florida to meet with student-survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S. They drove to Florida with Selene San Felice, a Capital Gazette reporter who survived the mass shooting at the newspaper’s Maryland HQ on June 28. On the way, they made a pit stop in Orlando to see the memorial for victims of The Pulse nightclub shooting. When they arrived in Parkland, the girls painted rocks with Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and exchanged them. Half the rocks will be kept off-campus at a memorial garden for the Parkland victims. The other half will be taken to the Great Mills campus in Maryland.
On March 26, 2018, an angry 17-year-old male entered Great Mills High School in Lexington Park, Maryland with a semiautomatic handgun owned by his father and shot two people: Desmond Barnes, 14, and his ex-girlfriend Jaelynn Rose Willey. The shooter killed himself after being confronted by a school resource officer. Willey died in the hospital three days later.
Like so many other young survivors of gun violence across the country, the students at Great Mills High School have taken their grief and channeled it into powerful activism to prevent school shootings and gun violence of all kinds.
First, they successfully lobbied Republican Governor Larry Hogan to sign a ban on bump stocks and an ERPO law to disarm individuals who are a threat to themselves or others (among other bills). Then, on July 19, 2018 they got Governor Hogan to commit to the following:
- Lobbying the Maryland legislature to toughen state’s Child Access Prevention law to protect children age 18 (not 16) and under from parental negligence with firearms storage.
- Taking the NoNRAMoney pledge. Hogan will reject any endorsement or money offered to him by the NRA!
Let’s show our appreciation for these incredible young activists. They are looking to crowdfund a trip to meet with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivors in Florida to discuss strategies to gain further life-saving reforms and could use help in a couple of other ways.
Please take one or more of the following actions to support the Great Mills students:
1) Contact Great Mills High School Principal Dr. Jake Heibel through one of the channels below and leave him the following message, personalized to your liking:
I just wanted to express my appreciation for your students who have done so much good for the state of Maryland through their lobbying of Governor Larry Hogan on gun reform. Your students were at the heart of efforts to urge Governor Hogan to sign critical new gun control bills after the tragic shooting at your school. These new laws will help disarm individuals in crisis who are a threat to themselves and/or others and prohibit the sale or ownership of bump stocks in the state (among other improvements). Then, on July 19, they got Governor Hogan to commit to toughening the state’s Child Access Prevention law to protect children age 18 and under from parental negligence with firearms storage. They also got him to sign the NoNRAMoney pledge, severing his financial and political relationship with the treasonous NRA (Putin/Butina). You should be proud of Jaxon O’Mara and all the other students who accomplised all this. Their efforst have made Maryland safer and will save many lives. That’s pretty incredible and something to brag about.
Great Mills High School Principal Dr. Jake Heibel
Phone: (301) 863-4001
2) Support the students on the following Facebook thread by leaving a loving, supportive comment (no need to engage beyond that):
3) If you are capable of doing so, donate at the GoFundMe page set up by the Great Mills students to fund their trip to meet with Parkland survivors like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez:
Once you have taken one of the above actions, fill out the three fields above and click the orange banner above to report taking action! If you take multiple actions, you can report one on this page every 24 hours.