Parkland: A Year Later

  • April 16, 2019

For some, the name “Parkland” triggers a sense of anger and resentment for the lack of government actions that could allow such a devastating event to happen back in 2018. Others perhaps remember February 14, 2018, with bitter sadness or a day to advocate for change to our gun laws. However, arguably the most important part of the tragedy was what happened afterward. Survivors of the shooting demanded action from the government. People all across America, from celebrities to fellow high school students, showed their support for the fight for more comprehensive gun control.

However, politics and frustration towards the inaction of the government were put to the side when the anniversary came in 2019. Now that more than a year has passed since the event, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and administration took their time to mourn and remember who and what has been lost. Normal school days, dreams, career paths, best friends, lovers, innocence, and patience are perhaps a few of the many things MSDHS students have lost  over the past year.

All around the campus, different forms of delayed grief were seen. Student made memorials with flowers and other crafts along fences and grass areas and cement scattered around the campus. One of the many community projects was a collage of slain students’ faces. Beatles music played. The faces of those students who have come out on national television talking about the need for change were painted on large pieces of paper. People at Parkland took the time this year to focus on the people who sacrificed themselves and the people who fell victim to the gunman; they took a break from getting people to vote, going on marches and protesting against politicians and the government, investigations, being the activists needed to bring about change. They were simply friends, lovers, and fellow classmates mourning that day.

Not only at Stoneman Douglas, but all across the nation, students have made their voices heard over the course of the past year, making sure to ingrain into adults’ minds that the way things are is not okay and that the country is beyond not okay if the gun laws are not altered for the better. Student activists worked tirelessly, but the data for school shootings reveals that on average a school shooting happens every 8 school days. Another database showed that 2018 had the highest number of gun-related incidents at a school ever recorded, spanning all the way back to the 1970s. This brings up the question: will the government’s inaction towards gun policies really change?

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