Things That Matter

These Are The 10 People Killed During The Santa Fe High School Shooting In Texas

@LTribbs / @MichaelSkolnik / Twitter

It’s been less than a week since the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 people dead and many others injured. Now we’re learning more about the victims that were tragically killed on May 18 at their school in Santa Fe, Texas.

Those people were Jared Black, 17, Shana Fisher, 16, Aaron Kyle McLeod, 15, teacher Glenda Anne Perkins, 64, Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh, 17, Christopher Stone, 17, teacher Cynthia Tisdale, 63, Kimberly Vaughan, 14, Christian Riley Garcia, 15, and Angelique Ramirez, 15.

Ten people, eight students and two teachers, were killed in Santa Fe High School on May 18.

The victims range in age from 64 to 14. Survivors of the shooting recall how those victims died, many of them trying to save others.

“This extraordinary woman pushed a student out of the way to protect them and took the deadly bullet that ended her life,” Lydia Swartz tweeted. “Please don’t forget her name. Do not ever forget what she did. Do not let her legacy die. Glenda Ann Perkins was a selfless, heroic savior. #RememberAnnPerkins.”

One of those heroes that also tried to save the life of another was just 15.

Christian Riley Garcia, age 15.

Abel San Miguel said in an interview with Univision that Christian tried to block the door so the shooter could not enter. But when Christian opened it, that’s when the shooter killed him.

“He had the biggest heart and the biggest chunk of ours feels to have left with him,” Sarah Saunders, his aunt, said to an NBC affiliate.

According to news reports, Christian had always sought to help others and wanted to enlist in the military when he turned 18.

Family and friends gathered for a vigil this weekend to remember him. A Gofundme account has been launched in his name.

Angelique Ramirez, age 15.

Angelique was a youth ministry at Dayspring Church, CNN reports.

Sylvia Pritchett, Angelique’s aunt wrote on Facebook: “I just don’t know how much strength we all have left. Everyone grieving in their own ways, getting by minute by minute. All I know is you will forever be our rainbow baby girl! Every rainbow will represent you, just the same way you lived life and affected everyone who was blessed to be a part of your souls journey. You touched each and everyone one of us in so many ways, ways you didn’t even know. Rest easy my angel, forever the rainbow in our lives, a reflection of what love truly is!!”

Family and friends are also seeking financial help via GoFundme.

Jared Black, age 17.

“Our hearts are so sad for them. I was there when they heard the news,” family friend Elizabeth McGinnis wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Such a rough day for all.  Bobby, Jared’s Dad, sat in misery for 13 hours not knowing if he was one of the victims. Then he got the devastating news after 6 p.m.”

Shana Fisher, age 16.

Fisher’s mother. Sadie Rodriguez, told the LA Times that her daughter had turned down the shooters multiple advances for a relationship and she believes that was a trigger for his attack.

“He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no.,” Rodriguez told the LA Times. “A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn’t like. Shana being the first one.”

Aaron Kyle McLeod, age 15.

“He was never one to be a sad or down person. He always had to joke or laugh about things,” McLeod’s 15-year-old friend Kali Reeves told ABC 13. “He was just outgoing and super sweet. He definitely didn’t deserve this.”

Glenda Ann Perkins, age 64.

“We know Ann would want the students and faculty of Santa Fe High School, to whom she lovingly dedicated so much of her time, to remember to keep their hearts open, to discuss their feelings with family members, friends, and counselors in order to successfully conquer this tragedy,” her family members said in a statement, according to The New York Times.

Sabika Sheikh, age 17.

“What are you doing with your society,” her uncle Colonel Haider Ali told the media while urging the U.S. to make their schools safer. “We sent her to be educated, not to come back like this.”

Christopher Stone, age 17.

“He was so gentle, anyone that knew him were touched by him,” his older sister Angelica told CBS News. “And I just don’t think he deserved anything that happened to him, but we know he is still with us. And he will always be in our hearts.”

Cynthia Tisdale, age 63.

“There was never a question whether she enjoyed the job or not,” her husband told The New York Times. “She adored it.”

Kimberly Vaughan, age 16.

“I was sitting there at the table last night with friends and family and I said, ‘I can sit here and I can be sad about it, and I can cry, which doesn’t do any good. Or I can talk to people about how awesome (Kimberly) was and I can start calling my politicians, and you know, we can work on making some changes so it doesn’t have to happen again,'” Vaughan’s mom, Rhonda Hart, told KTUU.


READ: Texas’ Santa Fe High School Shooting Is The Third School Shooting In 8 Days

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below and use #Latinos4GunReform to let us know what change you want to see.

Some People Claim This Sandy Hook PSA Has Gone “Too Far” In Illustrating the Impact of School Shootings

Things That Matter

Some People Claim This Sandy Hook PSA Has Gone “Too Far” In Illustrating the Impact of School Shootings

We’ve come to the point in American history where deaths due to gun violence have become what many would call a crisis. According to data collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, guns were responsible for more deaths than car accidents were. So it comes to no surprise when certain activists take it upon themselves to bring attention to what many label an epidemic. On Wednesday, the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, a non-profit organization founded with the goal of “protecting children from gun violence with programs that work”, did just that. The NPO released a short video, titled “Back-To-School-Essentials” that made waves through the internet.

The video begins exactly the way so many back-to-school commercials start: discussing the coolest new gadgets to buy for your kids this Fall.

Sandy Hook Promise / Youtube.com

A smiling boy pulls a backpack out of a locker, bragging that his mom got him the “perfect bag for back to school”. A young girl shows off the colorful binders that are “just what she needs to help her stay organized” for the school year. But things take an odd turn with the third student. As the student describes his headphones as “just what [he] needs for studying”, we can see that not all is quite right in the background. As the boy listens to his music, oblivious, we see students running in the behind him, appearing to be panicked.

As the commercial wears on, it becomes even eerier when students are speaking carefree to the camera while scenes of carnage unfold around them. The commercial wears on with each scenario becoming eerier: a girl uses her sweater to bar a door shut, keeping an active shooter out of the gymnasium. A different student uses her new socks as a tourniquet to keep a bleeding student alive. The video ends on a chilling note: a young girl hides in a bathroom stall, tears running down her face. The camera closes up on her as we hear an active shooter enter the bathroom. “I love you, Mom,” she types into her phone.

The video ends with a simple title-card over a black screen: “School shooting is preventable when you know the signs.”

Sandy Hook Promise / Youtube.com

The PSA then directs the viewer to find out more about the organization at sandyhookpromise.org. According to Sandy Hook Promise’s About page, the “above-the-politics” organization is made up of “several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012”. Their mission is to “honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation”. Their main action-items are to target mental health programs to individuals who are “at-risk” at engaging in gun violence and by advocating for policy changes in order to prevent school shootings. 

As of now, the video has racked up over 1 million views on YouTube in under 24 hours.

The virality of the PSA is likely due to its execution: we’re all used to seeing vacuous back-to-school commercials whose sole intentions are to sell us something. “Back-To-School Essentials” lulls us into a sense of comfort with its upbeat music before jerking us into the current violent reality of school-aged students’ lives. According to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks every mass shooting in the country, the US has had 283 mass shootings since September 1st of 2019. 

The video isn’t without controversy–some Twitter users are disturbed by how close to home the video’s scenarios are.

In fact, many viewers are finding the PSA hard to watch. On Twitter, users are complaining of tearing up after watching the video. Some even claim to “feeling sick” by the video’s contents. 

In response, some Twitter users are glad of the reality-check the PSA is providing:

It’s evident that making their audience uncomfortable from watching the video was one of the organization’s goals. That way, it makes it harder to ignore the reality of school shootings and their impact on children’s lives.

This woman explained how the video hit a little too close to home:

It seems we’ve come to the point in our culture where we feel we need to buy phones for our children in the event that they experience a school shooting. 

This Twitter user applauded the Sandy Hook Promise Organization’s bravery in committing to their message:

Sometimes the only way to get your point across is to explain, in the starkest terms possible, how dire the situation is. This video managed to convey that in a powerful way.

This Latina was effected by the PSA on a visceral level:

Reactions like this prove that public service announcements, when done right, can achieve exactly what they set out to achieve.

Simply from the Twitter reaction, it’s clear that this video has touched a lot of people.

To learn more about Sandy Hook Promise and its mission to prevent gun violence, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org.

Beto O’Rourke Campaign Launches Spanish-Langauge Twitter Account To Reach The Larger Latino Community

Things That Matter

Beto O’Rourke Campaign Launches Spanish-Langauge Twitter Account To Reach The Larger Latino Community

betoorourke / Instagram

The 2020 presidential campaigns are in full swing and the candidates are all trying to reach as many voters as possible. In that attempt, the Beto O’Rourke campaign has launched a Spanish-language Twitter account. The account, called Beto en español, is brand new and will be live-tweeting O’Rourke’s participation in the Democratic presidential debates tomorrow. Here’s why the O’Rourke campaign decided to address the Spanish speaking community via social media.

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is using his platform to reach out to Spanish-speaking voters.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“Beto is committed to going everywhere and talking to everyone, even when their native language is not English,” Claudia Tristán, the director of Latinx messaging for the O’Rourke campaign tells mitú. “He learned Spanish in his native El Paso, a community on the U.S.-Mexico border where many residents are bilingual. As an elected official representing the border, he has always used Spanish to communicate with his constituents, regularly holding town halls, taking questions in both English and Spanish.”

Tristán explains that O’Rourke wants to use the same strategy of his political career to give attention and information to the Spanish-speaking community.

The attacks on the Latino community, both through rhetoric from the Trump administration and the shooting in El Paso, solidified the importance of the campaign to address Spanish-speaking constituents.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“As a native of El Paso, part of the largest bi-national community in the Western Hemisphere, reaching out to and standing up for the Latinx community has been a top priority for Beto throughout his campaign,” Tristán says. “On the trail, he has prioritized meeting with Latinx voters, engaging with Latinx media and is boldly speaking out against the discriminatory attacks President Trump has waged against the Latinx community.  This Twitter account is an extension of Beto’s in-person Spanish-language outreach to voters.”

There are more than 40 million Spanish-speakers living in the U.S. Many of the younger generations are bilingual with parents who rely predominately on Spanish to communicate.

Tristán admits that O’Rourke using Spanish in his speeches is important to her and her family.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“I know for my mom and abuelita it really resonated for them when they heard Beto express solidarity with the community, in their preferred language, that means something,” Tristán recalls after the El Paso shooting. “That is incredibly profound.”

@BetoParaTodos is going to be part of a larger push to utilize O’Rourke’s Spanish to communicate with voters.

“Beto understands that it is an important part in communicating with this vastly diverse community,” Tristán explains. She adds: “Establishing this online communication channel allows Beto and the campaign to regularly and consistently have interactions with voters in Spanish.”

Tristán highlights the candidate’s upbringing in the bilingual and multiracial community of El Paso as shaping his policies and campaign tactics.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

O’Rourke grew up in El Paso surrounded by immigrants and eventually went on to represent the community in Congress. His outlook on the world and the future of the country have been influenced and shaped by his experience living in and representing a large and vibrant immigrant community.

“In the wake of one of the deadliest attacks on the Latinx community where hate was brought into his hometown, Beto has redoubled his efforts to call out the hateful, racist rhetoric of Donald Trump, has reinforced his commitment to visiting with people targeted by Trump’s harmful policies, will continue to uplift them and tell their stories,” Tristán says.

As a candidate for the office of President of the United States, O’Rourke wants to uplift the stories of those he has fought for.

Credit: betoorourke / Instagram

“Beto is committed to engaging with the Latinx community in a meaningful way: to listen and show up for them, and demonstrate solidarity at a time where they feel hunted and afraid,” Tristán says. “Beto is not only boldly speaking out against Donald Trump and his racist policies targeting the Latinx community, but is also reaching out to Latinx voters to better address their needs and concerns on a range of issues and in a meaningful way that moves this country forward.”

READ: After The Shooting In El Paso, Beto O’Rourke Calls On Media To Call Out Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric