In writing these blogs every week, I try very hard not to have politics in any fashion permeate through my posts. The Center for Law and Policy’s mission is to connect through empowering individuals with a passion for the law. Whether that be conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, it does not matter. The change is what matters. It is neither my goal nor my prerogative to use the Center to espouse my political views. So while this week’s post centers on a very political issue, the end goal is a call to action. Whatever action that takes is up to the reader. My action may be different from yours, but action is action. And hopefully action, at its root, is a reflection of caring about something.
On May 9, 2019, the K-12 STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado got to join the ever-growing list of schools that lost students to mass shootings. Two gunmen, current students, opened fire in the school killing one and injuring seven. The student who died was named Kendrick Castillo. He was eighteen years old, an only child, and a student who died while saving others. Kendrick was watching The Princess Bride in class when one of the shooters pulled out a gun. Kendrick was the first to lunge at him to try and wrestle the gun away. This gave three other students the chance to take the gunmen down but not before Kendrick was murdered.
Kendrick was into robotics and outdoor activities. His hero was his grandfather who was a marine. Kendrick had hoped one day to follow in his footsteps and join the military. Students who were in the room remarked that Kendrick refused to be a victim. Apparently, children are now taught a new mantra to deal with emergencies at school. Instead of “duck, cover, roll,” it is now “run, hide, fight.” With no place to run, no place to hide, Kendrick fought. And Kendrick died a hero.
Kendrick’s family was heartbroken at hearing the news. Originally, they had gone to the hospital thinking he had been one of the injured. Once there, they learned that their son’s body was still in the classroom where other students had valiantly tried to keep him alive by applying pressure to his wounds. Unfortunately, there was simply too much blood loss to save him. Kendrick’s family had two requests, the first was of the other students at the school to live, get married, and create families to add more love to the world. The second was simply that people know who their son was. “I want people to know about him,” John Castillo (Kendrick’s Father) said.
Gun control, school shootings, arming teachers…there are so many actions that one can take in this debate. But no matter your political perspective, we can all agree that Kendrick acted. He chose not to be a victim. He chose not to let others be victims. He made the ultimate sacrifice. Through this blog my action is to help fulfill his father’s wish. A wish that people simply know who his son was. It is a small act. Maybe a meaningless act. But maybe my act will spurn others to act as well.
What will your act be?
-By Marc Consalo, Director of the Center for Law and Policy