OHS students encouraging community to engage in conversation about school safety

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The lead from a pencil. The ink from a pen.

Two Odessa High School students hope the community can use those utensils for good. They're hoping anyone who comes to Together We Stand next week puts pen, or pencil, to paper to write letters of support for those affected by the Parkland shooting in Florida and letters to their local congressmen.

"We want everybody to know it doesn't only take a school to be in a situation where they feel it needs to be show," said Destiny Vargas, 11th-grade student.

Alyssa Flores-Lopez and Destiny Vargas worked for weeks putting the event together.

"We got full understanding. Immediately somebody told us we'll all help you and we'll all follow you," said Vargas.

They are looking to offer support but also have an open, honest, and fair discussion about solutions.

"We were asked not to be disruptive of class and other people's education. So, we wanted to gather everybody peacefully and in a safe environment," said Flores-Lopez, 11th-grade student.

"Because most of the demonstrations are towards a specific subject and what needs to be changed. We fully respect that because that is one of those opinions, but we want all of them. We don't want just one," said Vargas.

The students who are also good friends have seen what's going on, the marches, the demonstrations, and they believe change can only happen if everyone has a say in it.

"I knew it was going to be a big project, and Alyssa is one of my best friends. If you feel the same way, are you willing to help me? Of course, she went right in and helped me to the fullest extent," said Vargas.

They say this event is about not being scared. Scared about voicing an opinion.

"It's okay to speak about how you feel about, political and big controversies," said Flores-Lopez.

Or even coming to school.

"It's sad because it's normal. It's in everyday conversation, during lunch, in between classrooms. With our friends it's, hey this school also got...," said Vargas.

"There was another school shooting," said Flores-Lopez.

Two high schoolers hope a simple message on a letter and a conversation spark a dialogue locally about the importance of school safety.

The event is on Tuesday, March 27th from 6:00-8: 00 p.m. in the OHS cafeteria.

Students, parents, staff from across the area are welcome to attend.

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