Parkland, Florida Massacre: What Students Should Know

The Parkland, Florida shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School is much more than just  “another school shooting.” All too many people have lost their lives because of situations just like this. The victims, a football coach, two athletic directors, and 14 students had their lives come to an end all too soon. These lives put to end by a teenager with a legally purchased, assault-style weapon.

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, was a student at Stoneman Douglas, and a soccer player for Parkland Travel Soccer. Scott Beigel, 35, was a geography teacher who “lost his life ushering students into nearby classrooms,” as his older brother Miguel told CNN reporters. Nicholas Dworet, 17, was a senior at Stoneman Douglas. The University of Indiana confirmed that he was recruited for the university swim team and would have been an incoming freshman this fall. Aaron Feis, 37, was an assistant football coach. Jaime Guttenberg, 14, was a Stoneman Douglas freshman. Chris Hixon, 49, was also an athletic director for Stoneman Douglas. Luke Hoyer, 15, is very missed by his family.

“He was a good kid. He … never got in trouble,” stated his grandmother, Janice Stroud to CNN.

Cara Loughran, 14, danced at the Drake School of Irish Dance in South Florida. Gina Montalto, 14, was a member of the winter guard on the school’s marching band. Joaquin Oliver, 17, was from Venezuela and had just become a naturalized citizen in January 2017. Alaina Petty, 14, was vibrant and determined, her family said. Alaina had volunteered after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in September. Meadow Pollack, 18, was a senior who had been accepted at Lynn University in Boca Raton, said CNN. Helena Ramsay, 17, was ready to start college next year. Alex Schachter, 14, was in the school marching band and orchestra. He played baritone in the former and trombone in the latter, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Carmen Schentrup, 16, was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. Peter Wang, 15, had been a member of the junior ROTC program and his parents owned a restaurant in West Palm Beach, the Sun-Sentinel reported. The name of the last victim, also a student at Stoneman Douglas, has not been released to the media at this time.

Ms. Meredith Anderson, a math teacher, new to Lanphier, just moved here from Florida this school year.

“There was even [a school shooting] close to my house when I was in high school. It’s unfortunate, it’s scary. It’s sad that a place that should be safe for our kids and our teachers is all-of-a-sudden having this negative connotation. There’s a lot of media attention, right now, on gun control, and I think that’s one aspect of it, but I think that it’s a bigger problem than just controlling the use of assault-style weapons, or whatever. There needs to be more funding, there needs to be more attention to security, and discussion of mental health. Teachers need to have smaller class sizes in general, just so we can give more individualized attention to students to help prevent this kind of thing.”

Mackie Baal (11), had some similar opinions,

I think the school system should be more focused on mental health awareness, especially in young kids. It’s not just the guns that are the problem, [these shootings] need to stop.”

Many schools across the country are participating in the Walkout for the cause of gun reform on March 14, possibly including some Springfield High Schools. The SSHS newspaper, The Eastside Chronicle had tweeted in regard to school-wide participation on February 22, 2018, the tweet has since been removed. The tweet read, “Attention Southeast students, We are planning to participate in the March 14, 10:00 a.m. walk out in remembrance of the 17 students who lost their lives in the Parkland, Florida massacre…”

“A statement from Springfield District 186 indicates it will respect students’ rights to organize, and won’t punish students for participating, as long as they come to an agreed-upon set of guidelines with the administration. The district emphasized the events don’t reflect its endorsement of any specific cause,” stated NPR Illinois.
“Our goal is to allow peaceful and safe participation and minimize disruption of the school day, it is our responsibility during these times to keep students safe and be thoughtful and objective listeners,” said a District 186 official.

UPDATE (3/8/18): The SSHS newspaper, The Eastside Chronicle posted an updated tweet regarding the walk out. The tweet stated that students who choose to participate in the walkout will be walking out to the track at 10:00 a.m. on March 14.

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