Color Wars: The Debate Over What to Wear This Friday

Since April, Essex High School Students Demand Action has planned to “turn the school orange” in honor of Wear Orange, a national event to remember lives taken by gun violence and to raise awareness about the shootings that plague our communities. This event always takes place on the first Friday in June. 

“On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s friends commemorated her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Wear Orange is now observed every June. Thousands of people wear the color orange to honor Hadiya and the more than 40,000 people who are killed with guns and approximately 85,000 who are shot and wounded every year” (

Students Demand Action at Essex High School has gathered materials, purchased merchandise, and collected information to disperse on Wear Orange. 

Essex High School’s Student Government has also planned Blue and Gold Day for this Friday, June 3rd. In an effort to avoid conflicting requests for certain colors to be worn, EHS Students Demand Action reached out to the EHS Student Government hoping to switch Blue and Gold Day with Senior Appreciation Day. This way, students could both wear blue and gold on Wednesday and orange on Friday without needing to choose between honoring lives taken by gun violence and supporting their school. 

One of the student government advisors agreed to consider this solution. However, EHS student government leadership alerted Students Demand Action that they would continue with their plans to hold Blue and Gold Day on June 3rd. 

Students Demand Action would have liked to reach an agreement. We don’t believe it is fair for students to have to choose between raising awareness and wearing blue and gold.

Please Wear Orange this Friday. 

– EHS Students Demand Action