DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The mother of a high school student in Douglas County is speaking out against people she said are bullying her son online.
“How would those people feel if their children were being spoken of in that way?” Amity Wicks asked.
Wicks’ son Owen is a sophomore at STEM School Highlands Ranch.
“He has been compared to a Hitler youth,” Wicks said. She said it’s because he started an after-school conservative student group.
“They accuse him of lying, they accuse him of being a white supremacist, being a racist,” Wicks said.
The group is called Turning Point USA, and while they’ve been accused of having far-right views, they have denounced instances when members have used racist language. That’s according to the political watchdog Politifact.
“It breaks my heart because he’s my child and these people are saying these things,” Wicks said.
Owen said his intent is to start a meaningful debate between students interested in politics.
“I’m trying to create a place where civil discourse is welcome, regardless of viewpoint,” Owen said.
There is a growing number of people getting involved in the political arena at an early age. Even the University of Colorado, Boulder reported a near 13% increase in young voters there from 2016 to 2020.
Wicks said she is proud of her son for his passion and keeps a close eye on any racist or supremacist content to which he might be exposed.
“I would not allow my son to be part of a group that had any association with those kind of ideas,” Wicks said.
To his critics online, Owen said he’s open to debating their thoughts about him and his politics.
“I’d ask them why, because I’m not a racist, I’m not a Nazi, so I want to know why they think what they’re thinking,” Owen said.
Turning Point USA is already at high school and college campuses around the country.
While they have denounced any racist and supremacist rhetoric among members, Politifact reports they have been criticized for pushing the debunked narrative surrounding fraud in the 2020 election.