Kendrick Castillo should be starting college right now. Instead, he died saving his fellow classmates in Colorado.

This is Kendrick Castillo. He is a hero. Share his name.

Kendrick Castillo was the only student to die in the most recent school shooting – this one taking place at STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. His bravery helped prevent more bloodshed in what has been a commonplace tragedy at our nation's schools. According to a classmate who witnessed the attack, Castillo moved to intercept one of the attackers to protect his classmates. A member of the school's robotics team, he was set to graduate in just three days.

Castillo is the second student this week who laid down his life in a heroic act of bravery in order to stop further bloodshed. At UNC Charlotte, senior Ryan Howell “took the assailant off his feet," as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerry Putney reveals in a press conference just last Wednesday. As writer and activist Shaun King so eloquently noted in an instagram post, the two are “… Hero[s] we shouldn't have Kendrick. Shame on this nation for forcing kids to do this… It's an abomination that politicians have allowed it to come to this. Their inaction and indifference is a grave sin."

The Gun Violence Archive listed this school shooting as the 115th mass casualty shooting in the United States this year. As this type of violence has become all too familiar to Americans, some are quick to note that murder rates in the United States are actually near historic lows. While it's true the rate for murder and non-negligent manslaughter per 100,000 people in the United States is around 4.5 (down from a 1980 peak of 10.2) – does that make these lives being lost any less tragic? Is there nothing we can do to protect students, concert goers, and worshipers? Taking steps to make sure dangerous individuals do not have access to weapons is a necessary one, and the only real way we can honor the memory of a bright young man like Kendrick Castillo, and so many others.


When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

Now, just imagine how much better those numbers would be if the country wasn't mired in an economy-killing trade war with China, bleeding out trillion-dollar-a-year debts, and didn't suffer from chaotic leadership in the Oval Office?

At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

Keep Reading Show less

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

Keep Reading Show less