Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News via AP

Parkland Students On Texas: 'They're Part Of This Now'

May 21, 2018 - 7:30 am
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PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, are expressing outrage and heartbreak after authorities said a student killed 10 people Friday at a high school in Texas.

The attack at Santa Fe High School is the deadliest school shooting since a former student was arrested in the killing of 17 people at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day, a massacre that mobilized a nationwide movement for gun reform. It also came on the last day of school for Stoneman Douglas seniors, who finish classes earlier than other grades.

"My heart is so heavy for the students of Santa Fe High School. It's an all too familiar feeling no one should have to experience. I am so sorry this epidemic touched your town — Parkland will stand with you now and forever," Parkland student Jaclyn Corin said in a tweet.

She also directed her frustration at President Donald Trump, writing "Our children are being MURDERED and you're treating this like a game. This is the 22nd school shooting just this year. DO SOMETHING."

Classmate David Hogg, who helped start the #NeverAgain movement with Corin, predicted that politicians would descend on the Texas campus acting like they care to boost their approval ratings.

Cameron Kasky echoed their sentiments on Twitter: "Prepare to watch the NRA boast about getting higher donations. Prepare to see students rise up and be called 'civil terrorists' and crisis actors. Prepare for the right-wing media to attack the survivors."

A handful of Twitter users did began to question the facts of the Texas shooting Friday, at least one accusing a Santa Fe student of being a #CrisisActor after she told a local television station she'd always felt like a shooting would eventually happen at her school.

Most of the victims of Friday's shooting at a Houston-area high school were students, authorities said.

"Santa Fe High, you didn't deserve this. You deserve peace all your lives, not just after a tombstone saying that is put over you. You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out we will be there to support you by raising up your voices," tweeted Emma Gonzalez, one of the movement's leading voices.

Monday marked three months since a former student with an AR-15 was charged in the attack in Parkland, Florida. The movement that resulted led to gun reform legislation being passed in Florida, and a continuing national debate over guns and school safety.

"They're part of this now," Stoneman Douglas student Charlie Shebes said.

"I want to talk to them," he added. "I'd like to say it gets better, but it actually gets a lot worse before it gets better."

March For Our Lives released a statement urging Americans not to simply let this latest shooting pass without action. The group said some Parkland students had already reached out to the Texas survivors.

"This is not the price of our freedom. This is the most fatal shooting since the one at our school and tragedies like this will continue to happen unless action is taken," the statement said.

Stoneman Douglas student Kayla Renert recalled how she traveled to Washington for the massive gun reform rally in March.

"On the bus in D.C., I said we continue to say never again but it keeps happening again. This was again. We worked hard to make Douglas the last mass school shooting and unfortunately three months later there was another," said the 15-year-old sophomore.

Delaney Tarr tweeted: "I should be celebrating my last day of high school, but instead my heart is broken to hear of the tragedy at Santa Fe. We cannot let this continue to be the norm. We cannot."

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