Jupiter High students wear orange ribbons to raise awareness for gun violence


Jordan Vassallo, junior, introduces ‘Orange Ribbons For Jamie,’ to Jupiter High School. The foundation was founded by Fred Guttenberg in remembrance of his daughter Jamie Guttenburg, a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglass school shooting. 

Vassallo came up with the idea to bring ‘Orange Ribbons For Jamie’ to Jupiter High, to raise awareness for gun violence. A simple act, such as wearing an orange ribbon, allows students and teachers to show their support for ending gun violence. 

“Guttenberg created the orange ribbon and he wears the little pin on his clothing when he goes to events,” Vassallo said. “I thought why not make bigger versions of the pins and hand them out at school so people can wear them to show they care.”

This is not the first time Vassallo has shown her support for ending gun violence. She has been advocating for it since middle school.

“I spoke on the morning announcements last year [about gun violence]. This year I decided, it’s getting worse and worse, so we need to spread awareness and speak out,” Vassallo said. “It’s a problem.” 

Michael Hammett, AICE U.S. History teacher, helped Vassallo bring ‘Orange Ribbons For Jamie’ to Jupiter High. On Feb. 14, the five year anniversary of the Parkland shooting, Vassallo passed out orange ribbons to students and teachers to pin on their shirts. 

“I felt accomplished and happy seeing everyone support me,” Vassallo said.

Hammett chose to wear an orange ribbon to show his support.

“I am an advocate for my students becoming engaged and responsible members of their communities, as well as to promote social justice and build a positive and supportive learning environment,” Hammett said. “I feel a moral responsibility to support my students in advocating for change in gun violence, especially on school campuses.” 

In 2020, death from firearms became the number one leading cause of death among children in the U.S.

“Don’t tell me there’s no such thing as gun violence. It happened in Parkland,” Fred Guttenberg stated on FredGuttenbergBlog.

Vassallo has a personal connection to the feeling of losing someone to gun violence, which has inspired her to take a stance. 

“I lost two other family members to gun violence,” Vassallo said. “I had a drive to change something and bring awareness to it.”

‘Orange Ribbons for Jamie’ not only focuses on the issue of gun violence, but honors Jamie by donating to organizations she was passionate about helping. 

“We will look to make donations in the world of performing arts, to

organizations that deal with bullying as well as supporting children with special needs,” stated in an excerpt taken from OrangeRibbonsForJamie.

There are other ways people can spread awareness about gun violence and allow their voices to be heard. 

“You can go to protests and donate [to different organizations]. I want to be a voice for everyone and  make a change,” Vassallo said.

Students continue to display their support for ending gun violence by wearing orange ribbons on their backpacks.