Oak Ridge, United States

Students Lead Town Hall for Our Lives

Four Democrats and a Republican walk into a room. No this isn’t the start to a bad joke, but the makeup of the candidates that attended the town hall at Oak Ridge High School on April 7th. The candidates that were in attendance were the Democrats: Jessica Morse, Regina Bateson, Roza Calderon, and Robert Lawton. The only Republican in attendance was Mitchell White with the Republican incumbent, Tom McClintock, being noticeably absent. The town hall was organized by students across the district to give candidates a chance to say how they would help reduce gun violence in schools. Ideas were very similar to the national ideas, Mitchell White( R ) proposed bringing armed guards and adding metal detectors to school entrances. The democrats tended to favor gun control regulations such as a stronger background check system and reinstating the assault weapons ban. It was very clear that the audience tended to lean left for example booing Tom McClintock when he was announced to not be coming and shouting no when White proposed bringing armed security to schools. What was notable is that both sides of the debate seemed to dislike McClintock with the clear response from the audience and Candidate White saying in response to being asked about his chances of winning “… A lot of the people on the Republican side don’t even like Tom McClintock. Because he doesn’t even listen to these constituents, he doesn’t come out to these town halls.” While at times the crowd got a little rowdy, the students in charge of the town hall did an admirable job of keeping a neutral stance and making sure that audience was under control. The students agree that the town hall went very well and were happy with both the candidates and the audience



Article & Photographs by J.T. Littleford

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