I originally posted part of this on my personal Facebook page, but I thought it deserved a blog post.
Unless you live under a rock, you’ll know that the 18th school shooting THIS YEAR occurred this past Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Seventeen students and teachers were murdered senselessly in this tragedy.
I grew up in the neighboring town and have a number of friends who teach at this school and whose children attend this school. Thank goodness, no one I know was injured or worse. Thank goodness, none of the students in my friends’ classrooms were hurt. I consider my friends Sarah Lerner & Melissa Falkowski (both Journalism teachers) heroes for their bravery that day. I am heartbroken that my friends had to go through this experience and for the teachers and the children who died that day.
It is surreal to hear Parkland being talked about on the news. Like they talk about Anyplace in this country when something bad happens, but — Parkland. The city that was rated last year as safest in FL. How can this be?
You know, Adrian and I got married at the Heron Bay Marriott, which is across the street from Marjory Stoneman Douglas and was the rally point for parents to find their children.
Our two boys were born just minutes from the school at Coral Springs Medical Center, where victims were taken following the shooting.
I occasionally went to the same Wal-Mart (with my kids in tow) that the gunman visited to buy a drink after committing this horrific act.
I attended the rival high school just across town when I was a kid. When I was pregnant with William, I presented a class at MSD for the Florida Scholastic Press Association about photography (for my friend Melissa, the journalism teacher, who has been all over the news). And many years ago, I applied to MSD when I was looking for a teaching job, but ended up taking a position at a local middle school a few minutes away.
I may not live there anymore, but this is still my community. This is too close to home for me. Those who died are the friends, co-workers, and students of my friends — and the teachers and friends of my friends’ children.
Something needs to be done. Metal detectors, a change in the way guns are sold (why was an 18 year old- still basically a child – allowed to buy an assault rifle when he isn’t even old enough to purchase alcohol?), better mental health care — just something! I don’t like to get political on my blog, but thinking about how we can make it more difficult for people to do this to our children and to our teachers is something we all need to consider.
It’s easy to “forget” these incidents and let them go by the wayside after a while. No one wants to talk about uncomfortable situations. Maybe this time, people will not forget. Maybe this time it will be different. Maybe this time something will be done. Our children and teachers deserve to feel nothing but completely safe at school. Our kindergartners shouldn’t have to be trained in code red protocol. It’s just not right. This is not how life was when we went to school and it shouldn’t be the way it is now. It just shouldn’t.
I don’t have any more words… Although I no longer live in South Florida, I am with you all in spirit.
Today we are all Eagles.
I am sending so much love to all of you who are there, seeing it in person, and attempting to process that life in this community is forever, irrevocably changed.
#MSDstrong #EaglePride #StonemanShooting #NeverAgain