Jewelry for Parkland


Leticia Morales and Olivia Johnson

A board is set near the door in English teacher, Mrs. Smith’s, class with its owner sitting close by. He carried in his board, which contained pastel colored stones coiled in silver metal wire, creating necklaces and bracelets. The pieces of jewelry that sell for $2 each are to support the families of the victims from the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The person behind the board is Kameron Salazar, a friendly-faced senior attending River City.

“He’s always been trying to help people and trying to fix things. He’s always talking about going to college and helping people, so it’s just kind of him,” shares Salazar’s younger sister Ysabel Munoz, “When we were little, my dad would always yell at me about not understanding my homework and my brother would sit there and do it for me and I’d be like ‘oh, I understand it.’”
At a glance, Salazar seems like an ordinary student.

He takes AP classes and works at the Coldstone Creamery that recently opened in Town Center Plaza across from campus. This year is Salazar’s first at RCHS; he lived in Hawaii for four years prior to moving here.

But for the past few years, Salazar has been deeply affected by the outbreak of violence and shootings in schools across the country.
On average, there has been one school shooting per month since April 1999.

Starting with the Columbine school shooting on April 20, 1999 and ending with the Great Mills High school shooting on March 20, 2018, a 216 months long period, there have been 217 school shootings.

On February 14, 2018; the most recent stand out school shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 17 lives were lost.
Since then, Salazar has been selling jewelry and donating the proceeds to the families of those lost in the Parkland school shooting.

“I was really tired, of always saying I can’t do this I’m too young or I’m new to this school, but my friend told me a few weeks back that you can do anything,” said Salazar. I used that motivation to really drive myself to make jewelry.

Salazar started making jewelry the day after the shooting in Parkland occurred. So far, he has raised roughly seventy-five dollars and already sent some of the proceeds to Parkland along with a letter explaining his efforts to help.

Salazar uses mosaic stone that he wraps in metal string from Michael’s to make the bracelets and necklaces.

Malvika Umaria, Salazar’s classmate, bought a necklace from Salazar to show support for the cause and his efforts to help.

“It is nice to know that there is someone at RC who is kind enough to take time out of their lives in order to take action for those victims of school shootings,” said Umaria.

Salazar gained traction by asking a member of Raider Reporters to post a picture to the Raider Reporters Instagram and by asking the MC to let him make an announcement during the powder puff rally week. Salazar also gained advertisement from those who purchased jewelry.

“When most people found out I was selling the necklaces, they were actually really supportive. They bought some and even promoted me on their Snapchat stories.”
The cause became a little more personal when RCHS faced threats of gun violence.

Last month, RCHS went on lock down after a threatening voicemail was left to the main office late Friday night. This experience brought new light to Salazar’s support for Parkland and brought more sales his way. Salazar believes that his lock down experience made the jewelry a more personal project.

“My lock down experience was bad. My class was disrespectful to my teacher, nobody was listening, they were going through her cabinet. Everyone’s phones were going off, they were recording, they were laughing. My brother was texting me, he was like ‘oh, are you okay? What are you doing? Remember what mom says, be safe. Meet me here when you’re done, where you at?’” expressed Ms. Munoz.

“We were taking notes at the time, then all of a sudden I hear on the intercom that ‘we are going on lock down’ In my mind I was like here we go again, because in 8th grade a bank across from my middle school was robbed. My stomach dropped to the floor and I was so scared that I didn’t even move in my seat. I immediately texted my sister asking if she’s ok because being in a new school with new people, my priority is my sister. She was alright but then my mom texted me asking if I was okay and of course I was starting to calm down but I was getting mad because my class was being loud.”

The lock down has prompted talk of gun control and gun/school violence. “We live in a time where certain guns can fall into the wrong people’s hands, but it’s what we do with the information,” and it is important that it is, “used effectively.”

A few weeks ago, schools across the country held a walk out, River City was no different. Salazar participated in the walkout. “I did it to respect the families of the people who were taken away from the world. I personally do not know how it feels, but I couldn’t even begin to fathom the amount of emotional and mental and physical trauma the families are in. Their spirit is literally broken and that is my drive to help. When you see someone on the floor hurt you don’t just walk past them, you help them up. The walk out, yes was to put a stricter law on guns but it was also to honor the lives that were lost.”

Ms. Munoz also participated in the walkout, “Those kids should not be getting killed at school, school should be a safe place for us. Even my brother said he doesn’t feel safe coming to school, during first period when we had an announcement, he thought it was another lock down. I don’t feel safe coming to school. The gun violence should stop.”

“Anytime there’s a school shooting, all people do is they give their condolences and move on. You’re moving on so fast, like you don’t care until it’s your own kid that’s on the death bed,” added Munoz.

Salazar added his own opinion on gun control/gun related violence, “I’ve always grown up with guns around my house, but it is scary to think that one day I could be gone. I’m at school to be a safe and learn to better my education, not to be in fear. My stomach should not drop to my feet when someone goes on the intercom.”