WNPR

East Hartford Students Speak Out In Support Of Tighter Gun Laws

Feb 23, 2018

East Hartford High School students are joining a national chorus of voices against gun violence. They want to be heard by legislators in Washington D.C.

Senior Ryan Nguyen Lam said he’s not discouraged that pleas from the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting went largely ignored by Florida lawmakers Tuesday. The students asked them to consider a ban on assault weapons. The legislators voted it down overwhelmingly.

“It doesn’t really bother me because I know that they’re not going to stop there,” Lam said. “And I know that people are still going to be motivated and inspired by what they’re doing.”

Lam is a part of a program at East Hartford High that urges kids to register to vote so that they can affect change.

"We're personally trying to push more students around the country vote and register to vote, especially November 6, because if all we're doing is talking, it's not going to do much," said East Hartford High School senior Ryan Nguyen Lam.
Credit Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

“My generation — the kids who are still in high school — are the ones who are making this change,” said Hannah Rivera, a student that also endorses the youth push to the polls. “We are speaking out and trying to make a difference.”

She said that in order for the change to happen though, students need the adults to help them out.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that maybe teachers should be armed and that might protect the students from gun violence. Rivera disagrees.

“The answer is definitely not to put guns in the hands of teachers,” Rivera said. “I think that it’s just going to cause more chaos. I know that I would feel unsafe, especially compared to the safety that I feel every day coming to school.”

"The answer is definitely not to put guns in the hands of teachers," said Hannah Rivera, a senior at East Hartford High School.
Credit Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Lam and Rivera stood in solidarity with about 20 of their classmates as local leaders in education addressed the media Thursday. The president of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, Fran Rabinowitz called for changes to gun laws on the federal level and a better investment in the security of local schools.

The teachers union said it’s coordinating a statewide walk-in on March 14. At the beginning of that school day, parents and teachers will join students and enter schools together to send a message supporting tighter gun laws.