Today, February 14th, marks the two-year anniversary of the Parkland school shooting, which left 17 people dead and, in many ways, the nation reeling. Out of that tragedy came a movement through the Parkland survivors, who began to advocate for gun reform and other issues, seen in their organization of the March for Our Lives and similar movements.
When asked if they remember the Parkland shooting, two out of three interviewed students did, with only one (who wanted to stay anonymous) saying that he was “too young” to really remember the event. That student had also not personally seen a huge change in how gun laws or youth activism were perceived in the nation or the community.
Students Kate Avila and Alexa Ford, however, had different perspectives. Avila, a freshman, said that she remembered the shooting and remembered feeling “shocked” at the killing and continued school shootings. Since then, she feels that her memories of Parkland have inspired her “to be nicer to everyone” so that “everyone feels safe and included.” From the efforts of the Parkland survivors, Avila felt that the youth movement has gained more traction and validation.
Ford, a senior, felt similarly. In the wake of the Parkland shooting and subsequent activism movements, she was involved in local efforts of the March of Our Lives through a school walkout in 2018. Ford said that she hoped that the movement would teach students that tragedies “could happen anywhere” in the nation ane were not a far-off idea that always happened to someone else and hoped that that realization would spur the community and the nation into “gun reform” and political action.