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One year ago, tragedy struck: The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting

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One year ago, tragedy struck: The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting

Sophomore Juli Russ and seniors Alex Harrison and Sydney Cooper wear their #Enough shirts to remember the lives lost during the Parkland shooting.

Sophomore Juli Russ and seniors Alex Harrison and Sydney Cooper wear their #Enough shirts to remember the lives lost during the Parkland shooting.

Sophomore Juli Russ and seniors Alex Harrison and Sydney Cooper wear their #Enough shirts to remember the lives lost during the Parkland shooting.

Sophomore Juli Russ and seniors Alex Harrison and Sydney Cooper wear their #Enough shirts to remember the lives lost during the Parkland shooting.

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A student with a dream of becoming a professional soccer player can no longer play after taking multiple bullets to protect his classmates.

A student was excited to spend that valentines day with her “soul mate,” but now can only refer to him as her best friend. She keeps the bouquet of flowers he gave her in her room as a symbol of his last act of love.

A student lost friends and close peers. Now, even the sound of loud birds makes her jump.

An English and journalism teacher lost two of her students. She created a book filled with stories of the survivors.

A student. A friend. A peer.  

   365 days have passed since 17 innocent students and teachers lost their lives in Parkland Florida. 17 other students were injured.

At around 2:19 pm, February 18th, 2018,  a formerly expelled 19-year-old student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. The former student was armed and opened fire before even entering the school that afternoon.

The gunman pulled the fire alarm once he got far enough into the school. This prompted an approximate 3,000 students to evacuate the school.

Authorities say that the gunman did this to increase the number of casualties. The weapon used was a .223-caliber AR-15-style rifle.

Only 8 minutes after the attack started, the shooter fled the building.

He took 17 lives with him.

At around 3:14 pm, the suspected shooter was arrested without incident and taken to a nearby hospital before being released into police custody.

The next day, he was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The Parkland shooting was a tragedy that struck many hearts across the United States. A tragedy that struck a chord with survivors of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and Columbine.

A tragedy that prompted the need for a change.

Kelly Booth, a social studies teacher at Highlands, recounts February 14th, 2018.

“I was sad,” Booth explained, “but honestly, I was not surprised. I feel demoralized a little bit by it because it continues to happen. There’s very little change. There’s not anything being done about it.”

Booth is not alone with this thought. Since the Parkland shooting, around 1,200 American students have been killed by gun violence.

ABC Eyewitness News states that “the legacy of the massacre remains an ever-present force in the nation’s politics and gun laws.”

However, change is slowly making its way to Congress.

Since Parkland, students across the United States have been angered by gun violence and gun control and have started the #Neveragain and #Enough movements.

Since Parkland, students have marched in Washington D.C. with March For Our Lives in order to enable more gun control and decrease the amount of gun violence.

Since Parkland, a new generation of voters have been registered and they are ready to have their voices heard.

On March 14th, 2018, the Student Activist Union at Highlands High School organized and performed a school walkout in support of these movements and to remember the lives lost.

A change is hard to make. Some students at Highlands have mixed emotions on what is upcoming in the near future.

Ava Rosenstiel, a sophomore at HHS participated in the National School Walkout in response to the Parkland shooting.

Rosenstiel stated, “Our country’s policies are so twisted that they put a loud minority’s ‘right’ to own military-grade weapons that a citizen that a citizen would never need above our own safety within schools.”

While Derek Carter, another sophomore disagrees with the use of this tragedy as a political standpoint.

Carter stated, “I feel remorse for the affected and remorse for society, as it takes a tragedy such as this and makes it a political statement instead of a tragedy.”

The younger generations have been pushing hard in order to gain more attention to the violence that guns bring. These student activists will not have their fellow peers’ deaths be in vain.

Although there will not be a national walkout this year, there is a March for our Lives Fort Thomas group that is hoping to organize a march on March 24th. There will be an interest meeting about this group on February 21st, at 22 Taylor Avenue, Fort Thomas, Kentucky. The meeting will start at 3:30 pm and end around 5 pm. All are welcome.

Now, take a moment to remember the lives lost one year ago.

 

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, a soccer player.

 

Scott Beigel, 35, a geography teacher.

 

Martin Duque Anguiano, 14, a bright spirit.

 

Nicholas Dworet, 17, a swimmer.

 

Aaron Feis, 37, a football coach.

 

Jaime Guttenberg, 14, a loved daughter.

 

Chris Hixon, 49, an athletic director.

 

Luke Hoyer, 15, a happy grandson.

 

Cara Loughran, 14, an Irish dancer.

 

Gina Montalto, 14, a member of winter guard.

 

Joaquin Oliver, 17, a soulmate.

 

Alaina Petty, 14, a determined community-service volunteer.

 

Meadow Pollack, 18, an energetic friend.

 

Helena Ramsay, 17, a motivated student.

 

Alex Schachter, 14, a musician.

 

Carmen Schentrup, 16, a National Merit Scholar semifinalist.

 

Peter Wang, 15, a junior ROTC program member.

 

Remember them all.  One year ago, tragedy struck. It’s time for a change. 

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One year ago, tragedy struck: The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting