Thousands sign petition urging ESPYS to honor STEM students who saved lives during shooting

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — STEM School Highlands Ranch students Kendrick Castillo, Joshua Jones and Brendan Bialy have been credited with saving lives by subduing at least one shooter during Tuesday’s shooting. Now, there is a petition to get the three student heroes recognized on a national scale.

Thousands have signed a petition urging ESPN to nominate the students for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS. The award — named after the late tennis great — is given annually to individuals or groups that “stand up for their beliefs in the face of adversity.”

Castillo was killed in the shooting, which wounded eight others, including Jones. Bialy was unhurt.

The daughter of Dave Sanders, a teacher who was killed at Columbine, is supporting the petition.

“These people put their lives on the line to save students and teachers, and deserve recognition for that,” Sanders said. “These boys are incredible. It made me think of my dad, honestly. They are heroes. They saved how many kids?”

Dave Sanders received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award a year after the Columbine tragedy. He is credited with saving many students during the 1999 shooting.

“I think there is kind of a kindred spirit between my dad and Kendrick. He did the same thing,” Angela said.

Angela wants to help the boys get recognized and says they need to be remembered for what they did.

“I just told my mom last night I have been emotionally overwhelmed and I need a purpose. Then, I saw the petition,” Angela said.

Angela said she would like to be there if the students do receive the award and would be honored if she could help present it to them.

“I feel like we are already family. We are part of this horrible club we’ve become part of because of these tragedies,” she said.

The woman who started the petition did not want credit or recognition for it. She says it is just the right thing to do to honor the students who tackled the gunman.

Sign the petition online

Full coverage of STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting

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