By: Joey Weisler
If there is one lesson that has resonated in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy, it’s that the youth have a prominent voice and are able to constitute sweeping changes in the U.S.
This is no exception for rising MSD seniors and Parkland residents Adam Buchwald and Zach Hibshman, who have taken the initiative to create the organization Parents Promise To Kids, which empowers children with a voice. Parents Promise To Kids (PPTK) is an evolving, sweeping two-part movement:
“The first part of the movement asks parents to make an honorable contract with their child,” Buchwald explains. In accomplishing this, parents are encouraged to download a contract and sign it with a child who is under 18 and does not have the authority to vote for leaders. They promise to elect ethical politicians who support children’s safety and practice common-sense gun laws.
The second-part of the movement resolves all of the guess-work of voting. The PPTK politician rating system was designed through critical research to help voters make informed decisions.
“For us, the voting system is a way to keep society’s faith,” said Buchwald.
The rating system is strictly aligned to the politician’s views on the NRA. According to the PPTK scale, an “A+” promises that a politician indefinitely supports gun control legislation that keeps assault weapons off the streets and doesn’t accept any money from the National Rifle Association.
Likewise, a politician who receives an “F” from the PPTK scale takes large sums of money from the NRA. According to him, these politicians care more about their connection and money from the the NRA than keeping the public safe from assault-style rifles. They will send their regards, but won’t do anything to prevent mass gun violence.
So far, politicians are rated using the PPTK scale in Florida, Virginia, Georgia, Georgia, Illinois, Alabama, and Alaska.
“The data does change, as some politicians did adjust their stance on the NRA after the shooting,” Buchwald points out.
Still, the PPTK team is extremely optimistic that the system will provide voters with a platform on making informed decisions.
The PPTK organization is currently supported by additional organizations such as the Woman’s Youth March.
“Overall our feedback has been amazing,” said Buchwald.
Still, politics remain politics, and obstacles are faced in every endeavor.
“Some parents are hesitant to sign because of their passion for the second amendment. However, while views may vary, we’ve seen in the feedback that this is vital for children’s safety.”
The PPTK team has a goal to spread the movement to all 50 states before the November 2018 midterm election. After the election, they will refocus on the first part of the movement – getting promise contracts signed and spreading the word across social media.
“I’m so excited about this movement,” Buchwald said with great optimism. “When Zach and I first thought of the contracts, we were sitting around my kitchen table in February (after the massacre) and it just took off. I’m so proud of what we’ve started.”
To download a contract, simply follow the above link, take a family picture with the signed contract, and post a family picture to social media with the signed contract using the hashtags #ParentsPromiseToKids #PPTK #SafetyOverGuns.
Currently, nearly 13,000 contracts have been signed from Parent’s Promise to Grandparent’s Promise and a General Promise which includes businesses and groups.
Joey Weisler is a native to the city of Parkland and a homebred student of each of the Parkland schools (MSD class of 2013). He has earned his BA in Communication Studies from Florida Atlantic University in 2017 and his MA in English: Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University in 2018. He currently instructs English Composition at the college level.
Joey is also a nationally distributed screenwriter. Catch his Pilot, “The Abnormals”, on the South Florida PBS-WPBT Spring 2018 series “Filmmaker”. “The Abnormals” is a drama filmed in Parkland with South Florida talent (2015).
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