The Green Hope Falcon

The March Continues

The+student+leaders+invited+to+the+Governor%27s+Mansion+taking+a+picture+with+Governor+Roy+Cooper.+
The student leaders invited to the Governor's Mansion taking a picture with Governor Roy Cooper.

The student leaders invited to the Governor's Mansion taking a picture with Governor Roy Cooper.

Colin Fegeley

Colin Fegeley

The student leaders invited to the Governor's Mansion taking a picture with Governor Roy Cooper.

Sonia Rao, Editor-in-Chief

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Last school year, #WhyGHWalks was a movement that truly encapsulated the political atmosphere regarding gun violence in schools.  It was incredible to see students all over the state come together for a cause that they were passionate about. However, the fight is far from over.  Students such as Junior Class President Raina Lee, who was one of the organizers of Green Hope’s student walkout in February, is one of the student activists continuing to blaze a trail for gun legislation.  Over the summer, she was invited to the Governor’s Mansion with other student leaders around

the state to have a conversation with Governor Roy Cooper about gun violence in schools. The Green Hope Falcon was able to interview her about this experience below:

What got you interested in the March for Our Lives movement?

After the walkout, I realized that there was still more action to be taken. The March For Our Lives movement truly revolutionized the conversation around guns and captured the nation’s attention about our realities around gun violence.

What did you expect when you were invited? Did the experience meet or exceed your expectations?

I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  All I could hope for was a chance to speak out about some issues we currently have in our state’s gun legislation, and what we could do to create a safer place for all of us.  

Describe your experience in the Governor’s Mansion.  Did you have a favorite memory or moment?

I met Coach Fegeley outside the mansion. After entering, looking around the mansion for a bit, we were seated around this big table. Governor Cooper sat right across from me. We were with students who had advocated for gun reform from all across the state, from high schoolers to college students. We discussed many different facets of gun legislation such as mental healthcare access, working through a bipartisan lens, incremental steps we can take towards pushing legislation, and holding government officials accountable. I was so grateful for the entire experience, as an opportunity to shed light on some issues we have in our state but also as an opportunity to listen to such an incredible group of young people.

What plans or hopes do you have for the future of the movement? How do you hope to carry out these plans?

I am really hoping for common sense legislation to get pushed both at the federal level and through our North Carolina General Assembly. Things like universal background checks and Extreme Risk Protection Orders are very bipartisan, necessary steps that we can take in gun reform in North Carolina.

Pullquote Photo

The first goal is to get people, especially young people, out to vote”

— Raina Lee

.

With midterms coming up, a lot of people are hoping for an Orange wave in November— meaning that all officials who win their seats are common sense candidates who support the legislation that groups like Moms Demand Action, March For Our Lives, and countless others have been fighting for. After that, hopefully we will have a General Assembly where common sense legislation can be implemented for North Carolina.

It is so crucial for everyone to vote in these upcoming elections. Voter turnout, especially among citizens aged 18-25 is always low, but especially low in elections that aren’t presidential elections (like midterms this year). We currently have a system in place where elected officials aren’t serving the needs of the people, and when that happens, there’s only one thing we can do: vote them out. What we aren’t realizing is that voting is power. We need to start harnessing that power with educated constituents who know exactly where candidates stand on the issues that affect us, and then having those constituents show up to the polls.


In addition to attending this event, Raina also went to the March For Our Lives “Road to Change” event in Greensboro to educate, register, and motivate young people to vote.  The fight is not over yet! Students ages 16-18 can register/pre-register to vote for the upcoming November election.  No matter your party or political affiiation, voting is an important right that students are able to exercise.

About the Writer
Sonia Rao, Editor-in-Chief
Sonia Rao is a senior at Green Hope High School and the editor-in-chief for The Falcon. In her free time she loves to read and play ultimate frisbee— which she does for three different teams! She hopes to find herself at UNC Chapel Hill next year, double majoring in journalism and business or journalism and...
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