Yorktown Sentry

Person to Know: Beyla Richman

Nina Rutzen, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Junior Beyla Richman is known throughout the school as an activist who stands up for what she believes in. Richman recently led the organization of the school-wide walkout on March 14 and has always been known to promote gun reform, inclusion and a safer environment within the community.

Planning the walkout was no easy feat, but Richman was able to successfully complete this task through the help of both the administration as well as her peers.

“[I planned this walkout] by first talking with Jordan Joseph because I know we both share passion about gun violence prevention, and we put together a task force of youth leaders in the Yorktown community to organize materials and talk to administrators and find out the best and safest way to do the walkout,” Richman said.

Although Richman did appreciate the support for the majority of this issues she brought up, there was one noticeable issue that she struck up with the administration. As many people noticed, on March 14, the schedule that day had allotted time for Patriot Period after first period, rather than having it at its normal time after third period. She did not think that this change was appropriate and thought that it ended up taking away from the meaning of the walkout.

“I did feel like [the administration] overstepped their boundaries by changing the schedule to accommodate people walking out, and doing that lessened the statement of people walking out,” Richman said.

Another obstacle that Richman overcame with ease was the hate that was directed at the event by many. She knows how passionate she is about gun reform, but it became clear to her during the walkout that not everyone shared this point of view.

“The obstacles [I had to overcome] were people saying ‘this is so dumb,’ and ‘this won’t do anything,’ and the administration trying to make this walkout less of an inconvenience. I’m [also] confused why people didn’t walk out, because this isn’t about political parties, this is about gun violence and I don’t understand how anyone could be for gun violence,” Richman said.

However, as many would willingly attest to, the walkout was an overall successful event. Richman effectively got the word out through the use of flyers and word of mouth and truly believes that walkouts have started to amount to positive change in society already. She hopes to inspire many to take on the challenge of creating positive change in their community.

“The walkouts have had a noticeable effect in the government [because people have been] saying that [they] won’t stand for this anymore and want change. I believe it is bipartisan and I think that we need to keep this passion… we can’t just start and stop [the push for gun reform] after every mass shooting. No matter if there was a mass shooting recently [or not], we need to still keep fighting for this no matter what,” Richman said

Richman was also able to offer up advice for those who are passionate about the issue of gun reform.

“The best steps to take about gun reform are to definitely look up the different facts and statistics, look up the different bills that limit gun reforms. Look up things that you would want your governors and senators to do about gun reform. This is the best way to influence your government to do something about guns,” Richman said.

Richman is a model for other youths who wish to be a part of something bigger than themselves, such as a political movement. It is always reassuring to see that we have such caring, active people such as herself within the community.

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Person to Know: Beyla Richman