The 4-Year Anniversary of the Life-Changing MSD Shooting
4 years ago on February 14th, we were struck with the most heartbreaking news of all. On a day that had previously been known for showing love and appreciation to one another, we had been informed that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had lost 17 victims to a school shooting. Ever since then, Valentine’s Day has been officially recognized as a day of service and love. Not only to honor and remember the lives we lost 4 years ago, but also to have a day to protect our own mental-health and take the appropriate measures to prevent this from happening again. Which more specifically, means we need to take this time to recognize the flaws in our legislation, and make changes to our gun control laws to actually lower the risk of school shootings.
Alessandro Alcerro (9th): “The incident at MSD 4 years ago taught me to be more aware of my surroundings. I feel as though it should teach us all not to take each other for granted and appreciate our loved ones. In terms of preventing these situations from happening again (or at least as often), I definitely believe gun laws could be tightened in one way or another. Things as simple as adding blinds onto windows or developing complex security systems. But every Valentine’s Day, I remember victims by making a remembrance post to spread awareness and remind people of the importance of that day. But when I’m at home, my family and I light 17 candles to represent the 17 lives lost.”
Isabella Chavez (10th): “The anniversary of MSD reminds me of the innocent lives lost to violence that could have been simply prevented. It has left a permanent mark in which these lost lives deserve to be honored. I strongly believe change begins with lawmakers. They have the ability to work with our school boards to ensure that weapon checks are being practiced.
Every year, my family and I take a moment of silence to remember the lives lost. I make sure to remind others to do the same and continue fighting for a safer environment in our school and community.”
Amogh Baranwal (10th): “The tragic events of MSD definitely left a mark on the entire world but south Florida specifically. It frightens me how something so terrible could happen so close to our home and it truly taught me not to take my own safety or life for granted. I still remember the exact place I was when I heard about the extreme devastation that the shooting had caused. Our community however took it as a chance to come together and spread awareness about gun violence and how childrens’ lives are at stake. From not only advocating for change in our local policy, kids from our very own Broward County made national headlines as we all strived for justice for the innocent lives lost that day. We will never forget what happened that day and it is our responsibility to make sure that we honor and remember all the lives lost by making sure that history doesn’t repeat itself.”
Chanell Thomas (11th): “The tragedy at MSD definitely opened my eyes and kind of made me more afraid than I was before at school because it happened so close to us, so many people were hurt. I feel that there were definitely things people around the shooter could have done to prevent it from happening. I think the main thing we should focus on is to keep kids from getting picked on because most of the time we see those are usually the people who do these things. I feel gun control is a really big issue and we still haven’t really seen any significant change. I believe if everyone collectively decided to make a change for the better and help anyone in any way they can, we can prevent several mass shootings. Every year, I remember those we lost by doing everything I can in support of setting effective gun laws, so that things like this don’t happen again.
Alis Henry (12th): “MSD was a very tragic and unfortunate mass shooting. I was in 8th grade and at the time and it was so difficult to process what had happened. It’s made me more aware of what goes on in my school and surroundings. I can’t imagine what the families and friends of the victims had to go through, but it also affected parents and students as they became better aware about the growing gun problems that affect us to this day.
I think there are many steps to strengthen gun laws, but I really think it starts with the legislation and laws that need to change. I believe we do need to take precautions when it comes to dealing with students bringing guns and weapons to school. But personally I believe that having metal detectors or constant searches is not the only way and it seems like a step in the wrong direction. It can be very traumatizing or stressful for students.
Fortunately, I was able to go and protest at the March for Our Lives protest in 2018, and while I was there, the energy and call for action was inspiring! I try to go to more protests to call for better legislation, as well as use my voice virtually and spread awareness on gun control. But also every February 14th, I try to spread awareness to others about who the victims were and the lives they could have had.”
Jayna Brunner (12th):“School will never be the same after knowing what has happened in a place where we are supposed to be safe. Although I didn’t know any of the victims personally, I knew people who knew and loved them. I believe the best way to be safe is to be prepared for any circumstances. I think being more inclusive and having more mental health awareness in schools in order to decrease the hate and bullying in schools, however I don’t think there is a direct way to stop school shootings. It comes with a series of acceptance of others, kindness, and care for your fellow classmates. Gun control safety should absolutely be enforced on school campuses. No person should be allowed to bring a gun onto campus to ensure the safety of all students, teachers, and administrators. I remember those affected on Feb 14th with love and kindness towards others. Sharing love to others, even if you don’t know them, could decrease the hate in the world around us.”