Many Parkland Survivors Still Fear for Their Safety as They Begin New School Year
Many said there is no more normal.
Six months after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead and more injured, students are kicking off a new school year.
But students said they still are dealing with the fallout from the Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland, Florida. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to feel safe at school because I don’t feel safe anywhere,” Jaclyn Corin, 17, a senior and March for Our Lives activist, told NBC News.
Since the shooting, the Broward County School District has implemented new security measures, including more surveillance cameras, a fence around the high school and classroom doors that automatically lock. They have also increased the school’s security staff.
“There’s no question that this first day of school will be profoundly different and extremely challenging from any other opening of school that has occurred in its 28-year history,” Superintendent Robert Runcie said at recent press conference.
School officials said they also plan to practice 10 "Code Red" drills this school year, which are meant to prepare students and teachers for intruders. Some people are worried, however, that the drills could be triggers for the surviving victims.
“Even the drill is a lot for people to handle,” senior Sawyer Garrity, 17, told NBC News.
Other students said that despite the new security measures, they can never feel safe in the building after the tragedy.
Anthony Borges, a surviving student, said he won’t be going back.
"Maybe I'm not lucky next time, if it happens again," he told local station WPLG.
Students at the school have become nationally known for organizing the March for Our Lives rally held in Washington, D.C., in March, calling for stricter gun laws. They’ve continued their efforts with the #NeverAgain movement and have raised millions of dollars.
“I wish we didn't have to experience this new normal," Lauren Hogg, a student and March for Our Lives activist, told ABC News. "I wish it was just like every other year — I'd pick out my clothes, I'd have a good time — but this year, I can't help but constantly think about not only myself and my friends at my school, but constantly thinking about my friends at other schools who don't have as many safety precautions as we now do, and I worry about them."
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