On February 14th 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Nikolas Cruz, age 19, killed seventeen people and wounded 14 others. The surviving students returned on Sunday, just two weeks after the attack, to pick up their belongings that had been left in the panic.
On Wednesday, the students’ first day back, they left their school supplies at home and had a day of healing. Since then, the administrators have been easing students back into typical school life. In necessary situations, class times have been reduced and students have been allowed to leave early.
Many students have been using the power of their voices to help change current laws and restrictions regarding guns. In the nation’s capital, there have been multiples protests outside the White House. Further, across the nation, there have been hundreds of scheduled walkouts.
Alexis Grogan, a 10th grader at Stoneman Douglas, lost a good friend, Luke Hoyer, in the shooting. She and many others have been wearing their school’s color, maroon, to honor the innocent people who died during this tragedy.
“I listen to NPR every morning. I was on my way to work and one of the interviewers was... wondering if the school and teachers are prepared to teach. I was thinking that if something ever happened to our school, I would not be teaching meiosis, you know? I would ask my student what they need,” said GLHS science teacher Charlotte Palmer.
This massacre has left many students, parents, and teachers in fear about their school and its safety. A sense of confusion has transcended everyone involved.
“I really don’t know how to feel because I’ve heard rumors that students that went to the school were not even apart of the student body, but they claimed to be eyewitnesses,” said GLHS sophomore Zoe Allen.
This tragic event has become an imperative part of American history. But what will happen next? So long as students like those at Stoneman Douglas continue to use their voices and fight, there is hope for a safer future throughout all schools in America.
If anyone is interested in doing more to support the cause for stricter gun laws, there is a march occuring on March 24th all over the country. Here in Columbus, it will take place downtown, beginning at 11am in front of the Statehouse. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend to help the fight for reform in America.