Graduation season has arrived, which means it's time for seniors to personalize their caps.
Many take the tradition of decorating grad caps as an opportunity to showcase a witty quote about student debt or reference a beloved television show, but Gina Warren, an 18-year-old from Ashville, Ohio, used her cap to send a serious message about gun violence in schools.
Warren placed a large QR code atop her graduation cap that sends anyone who scans it to a list of high school students in the U.S. who were killed in school shootings
"I graduated. These high school students couldn’t. Protect our students. Protect our kids. Protect our neighbors. Protect our families. Protect our friends. Protect our nation," the website reads. It also includes the names of dozens of students killed in shootings over the years at STEM School Highlands Ranch, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Columbine High School, and more.
"I was inspired by the orange price tag caps that many students did last year after the Parkland shooting," Warren, currently a senior at Teays Valley High School, told CNN. "Their caps were a message to the NRA and lawmakers. I wanted to do something just as powerful but send a message to everyone who saw it."
Warren was referring to the caps of several Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who graduated in 2018. After 17 members of the school community were killed in a mass shooting, student activists like David Hogg painted their caps orange to symbolize gun control advocacy, and added price tags to their caps to call out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Rubio had accepted donations from the National Rifle Association, so the tags were meant to represent how much he thought each Florida student's life would be worth based on the amount of money he took.