Education

Petition to Honor STEM School Shooting Heroes at ESPYs Hits Its Goal

Photos of Joshua Jones, Kendrick Castillo and Brendan Bialy on the Change.org petition page.
Photos of Joshua Jones, Kendrick Castillo and Brendan Bialy on the Change.org petition page. change.org
A petition for ESPN to honor the late Kendrick Castillo and two other students who tackled a shooter at the STEM School of Highlands Ranch on May 7 at the next broadcast of the ESPY Awards has already surpassed its very ambitious goal.

Castillo, Joshua Jones and Brendan Bialy are credited with disarming one of the two shooters — an act that undoubtedly saved many lives. Castillo died as a result of his wounds, while Jones was shot but survived.

Tributes to Castillo, a robotics whiz who was already taking steps toward an engineering career; Jones, an active member of the LDS church; and Bialy, a Marine recruit, have already popped up on the web, and the petition, labeled "HERO students Kendrick Josh and Brendan for the 2019 Arthur Ashe Courage Award ESPN, ESPYs," aims to bring their bravery to an even wider audience.

The campaign has been endorsed by Angela Sanders, whose father, Dave Sanders, was honored with an ESPY after his death at Columbine on April 20, 1999. Her father "was given this award 20 years ago after he lost his life at Columbine for his courage," Sanders wrote. "I would be honored to present this award if by any chance I am asked."


Here's a video of the tribute to Dave Sanders.


 The text of the petition reads:
On May 7th 2019, the Highlands Ranch, Colorado community was forever changed when a shooting occurred at the Highlands Ranch STEM School. 8 students were hurt and 1 was killed. During the shooting, Kendrick Castillo, Brendan Bialy and Joshua Jones ran at the shooter and tackled him, giving their classmates time to take cover and escape. Kendrick Castillo gave the ultimate sacrifice of his own life in the process. We, as a Highlands Ranch community, believe that these three brave heroes are deserving of the 2019 Arthur Ashe Courage Award. This award is given out yearly at the ESPYs through ESPN and is given to individuals or a group that "stand up for their beliefs in the face of adversity," and that is exactly what Kendrick, Joshua and Brendan did.

We have a chance right now to make a change, stop these mass shootings and make these three true heroes so well known that nobody will be able to recall the name of the gunman. Please sign this petition. 
The petition's threshold was set at 25,000 signatures, and it's already been surpassed, with many people adding comments along with their names. Some examples:

"This kid is a hero!"

"This is an issue that needs to be fixed. Innocent lives are being lost. Children should not fear going to school."


"These students fought when society as a whole is failing them."

"They sacrificed themselves for the sake of others, there is nothing more brave than that. They are heroes in every since of the word and very deserving of the award."

"These young men are the heroes that should be talked about. What they did to protect their fellow classmates is remarkable."

Signatures are still being registered even though the goal has been met. Click to access the Change.org petition to honor Kendrick Castillo, Joshua Jones and Brendan Bialy at the ESPYs.

Today, May 10, Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler is expected to announce formal charges against the two suspects, eighteen-year-old Devon Erickson and sixteen-year-old Alec McKinney.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts