Students at Ridge View High School teamed up with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday to advocate for Sierra’s Law – proposed legislation aimed to protect minors from abusive relationships.
The proposed legislation is named for Sierra Landry, an 18-year-old found shot to death in Lancaster County in December 2013. Her boyfriend, Tanner Crolley, pleaded guilty one year later to killing her. Though Landry was 18 when slain, the two dated for nearly two years before the killing.
As part of a class project for the Scholars Academy Magnet of Business and Law, nine students at Ridge View came together as Team Sierra. They’re working to educate teenagers about abusive relationships – and to get the state Legislature to pay attention.
“Sierra’s Law would hold abusers accountable for their actions and would make it known that South Carolina is a place of kindness and generosity, not a place of fear and violence,” said 16-year-old Ridge View student Micayla Hayden.
The proposed legislation would allow teens to get an order of protection against an abusive partner, Sheriff Leon Lott said. Lott praised the students for taking the helm on this effort.
“Our teenagers today are much more independent and a lot smarter than any of us ever grew up being,” he said. “They know how to get things done.”
Landry’s father, Robert Landry, who was at the school Wednesday, said the matter is urgent, and deserves lawmakers’ immediate attention.
“It’s long overdue,” he said. “One life lost is one too many.”