Amnesty International in Fossil Ridge High School

Sophie Webb, Social Chair, Social Media Manager

When Fossil Ridge High School opened in 2004, three clubs were active: Distribution Education Clubs of America (DECA), National Honor Society (NHS), and Amnesty International. Both DECA and NHS are popular with the students of Fossil while Amnesty has struggled to gain members since quarantine in 2020. 

Amnesty International is not only a club offered here, but expands outside of the Fossil community. It is a global movement that more than ten million people participate in, spanning over 150 countries. The club focuses on protecting human rights for all people through group projects and weekly meetings. 

The head of Amnesty at Fossil, teacher Jacquelyn Speight, discusses, “It’s hard in a way, to get reacquainted to a club when it’s kind of an adult club, in the sense that it’s not something fun.”

There is no direct academic award for the club such as tassels, turning some students’ attention away. Numbers have been on the decline, from over twenty members to now only five.

Speight wishes more students would turn their attention to the club, “My goal is to enlighten young people to become activists.” 

Amnesty International has obtained multiple global achievements such as securing an international Arms Trade Treaty in 2013 to a global convention against torture in 1984. Speight discusses her hopes for the students of Fossil, “I believe that we all should do our part to make the world better.” 

When the club had multiple members in the past, they raised over $2,700 for a war in Rwanda, “We used to do, like, band competitions to raise money,” Speight says. With an eventual sponsor and an increase in membership, they will continue to complete more projects. 

Amnesty International keeps hopes high for the future, preparing for when their goals will come true. “[We are] doing justice, doing equality,” Speight says. 

“I believe that we all should do our part to make the world better.”

— Jacquelyn Speight