US school shootings: Six-year-old's will exposes heart-wrenching reality
The international conversation about gun violence has been pretty much continuous since the Parkland, Florida school shooting that took place on February 14. Students across the US have been mobilizing to take action and calling upon lawmakers for stricter legislation and overall change.
Sadly, the prevalence of school shootings has taken a toll on many people within education; the fear of gun violence on school grounds resonates with teachers, staff, and children of all ages. And — in a particularly heartbreaking example — one sixth grade student recently made headlines for writing a will after his school reportedly received a dangerous threat.
According to reports, Javon Davies, a sixth grader from Birmingham, Alabama, wrote out instructions for his belongings, should something happen to him during a school shooting. The letter outlined that his Playstation, TV, cat, and Xbox should all be given to his best friend.
However, it was the message at the end that was truly gut-wrenching. Javon finished his "will" with a message to his family, writing: "I love you all. You gave me the clothes on my back and you stuck with me all the time. Love, Javon."
The sixth grader explained that he wrote the will "just in case something happened to them because some kids get rowdy up and might end up getting somebody shot or something." His mother, Mariama Davies, told a media outlet that she "couldn't believe it" when she learned what her son had written. "It’s really hard because he’s so young," Mariama added. "He just shouldn't have to go through that period, because, for what? He’s in sixth grade. You have a lot ahead of you, and these things going on, you shouldn't have to worry about, go through, or even think about."
It's important to remember that there are things you can do to make your voice heard about gun reform. In addition to participating in one of the many walkouts, demonstrations, or marches that are being planned, you can also contact your state representatives to demand legislative action. If we all work together, change is possible, and students like Javon won't have to be afraid while walking into school.