A ten-year-old girl and her dad just sent a powerful message to the NRA on School Walkout Day

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What do you do when your precocious 10-year-old daughter, newly inspired to take her future into her own hands by survivors of February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, wants to participate in the walkouts taking place across the country to demand more effective gun control laws?

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Do you support her, even if no one else at her school is as moved as she is to walk-out to support the cause?

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Stephen Matrese faced just such a dilemma.  His pre-teen daughter, Delilah, attends Hamilton Elementary School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and she’s long been very in tune with political and social issues, particularly those that affect kids.  She cites John Oliver of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” as a hero of hers, and she pushed her teacher to make climate change the topic for a class project.

Delilah begged her father to let her participate in today’s nationwide walkout, even though no one else in her school planned to join her.  The school didn’t exactly green light the move, either.

Stephen decided to support his daughter’s passion and desire to be part of this historic movement, and so he went to her school today so she could be released without any issue.

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“My husband had to go to her school, sign her out, and stay with her,” Stephen’s wife Melissa said in a tweet Friday.  She added that Delilah “didn’t care about being the only one because ‘Mommy, this is too important to be embarrassed.’ ”

Stephen tweeted as well, and he let the photo of him and his daughter do all the talking.

If you know anyone taking Father of the Year nominations, please let us know. As for Delilah, her conviction – and that smile – should be an inspiration to us all.

Peter Mellado

Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.

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