My heart goes out to the teachers and students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. They have lived and are still living a tragedy. They lost students and teachers in a horrible way and tomorrow they have to go back to school. Tomorrow, so many teachers will have to be brave to go back into their classrooms, face their students and discuss the horrible events they lived and survived together. This will go beyond teaching as it will be difficult, painful and emotional for all. Tomorrow, so many students will have to go back to school with less of their classmates and with so much sorrow.
Going back to school has to happen, but it will be very difficult moments … moments of reliving such a scary moment leading to such tragedy and sadness.
As a teacher, this is one of my worst nightmares… being in a situation where your life and the lives of your students are at risk, witnessing your students in pain, actually losing some of your students unexpectedly in the scariest way, watching families break down losing their loved ones, feeling so helpless while gunshots fire and people die… How can this happen is beyond me. I simply cannot imagine having to come back to my classroom, seing it as it was right before this life changing instant that is this awful misfortune and then having to relive this horrific day over and over… This is probably the hardest thing for teachers and students to overcome and it will unfortunately stay with them forever.
So my heart goes to all of you at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School… stay together, express yourselves, keep your heads up high, help each other out, be kind to one another … There are no words that will make this day or any of the upcoming ones easier but I just wanted to express myself and share this because all of the support is much needed.
I also wanted to say that I encourage you to continue speaking up because YOUR VOICES MATTER.
Delaney Tarr, a senior
“This movement, created by students, led by students, is based on emotion. It is based on passion and it is based on pain. Our biggest flaws—our tendency to be a bit too aggressive, our tendency to lash out, things that you expect from a normal teenager—these are our strengths. The only reason that we’ve gotten so far is that we are not afraid of losing money, we’re not afraid of getting reelected or not getting reelected, we have nothing to lose. The only thing we have to gain at this point is our safety.”
Tanzil Philip, a sophomore
“To think, last week at this exact time, I was complaining about not wanting to go to rehearsal after school and trying to think of an excuse to get out of it…To [NRA Florida lobbyist] Marion Hammer and to everyone at the NRA and everyone affiliated at the NRA: We are not afraid of you, we will not be silenced by anything you have to say. We are here, our voices are loud, and we’re not stopping until change happens.”
Alfonso Calderon, a junior
“Everybody needs to remember, we are just children. A lot of people think that disqualifies us from even having an opinion on this sort of matter…This matters to me more than anything else in my entire life. And I want everybody to know, personally, I’m prepared to drop out of school. I’m prepared to not worry about anything besides this…I know everyone else here will fight for the rest of their lives to see sensible gun laws in this country, so that kids don’t have to fear going back to school.”
Emma Gonzalez, a senior
“Instead of worrying about our AP Gov chapter 16 test, we have to be studying our notes to make sure that our arguments based on politics and political history are watertight. The students at this school have been having debates on guns for what feels like our entire lives. AP Gov had about three debates this year. Some discussions on the subject even occurred during the shooting while students were hiding in the closets.”