Never Again-The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had practiced how to respond to an active shooter situation – the school had lock-down drills, security systems and restricted entrances.
But a sole gunman on Valentine’s Day was still able to kill 17.
The school’s surviving students, and other students across the country, have started movements rejecting what has been call over the years ; “the new normal” for their generation.
Thousands of teenagers, most still too young to vote, have become grassroots activists. Social media has become a tool for their ideas and campaigns to spread.
What Can We Say?
To the young people of Broward County, and the rest of the country, what can we say? What can anyone say?
One thing we can say is “NEVER AGAIN”, and “NEVER GIVE UP”. Keep the pressure on.
If you don’t, like so many times before, congress will do absolutely nothing. At least nothing that really matters anyway. You have the entire world watching, keep the pressure on.
We will also say our prayers for “all” involved. We are “all” children of God. If we can be of any assistance, let us know.
In Memory Of
Those who can no longer walk among us in this life:
Aaron Feis, 37
Feis, an assistant football coach, was killed when he threw himself in front of students to protect them from oncoming bullets, according to football program spokeswoman Denis Lehtio. Feis, 37, suffered a gunshot wound and died after he was rushed into surgery.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, a personal friend of Feis’, noted that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alum and former football player was a beloved protector of those in the community.
“When Aaron Feis died ,when he was killed, tragically, inhumanely, he did it protecting others, you can guarantee that, cause that’s who Aaron Feis was,” Israel said. “The kids in this community loved him, they adored him. He was one of the greatest people I knew, he was a phenomenal man.”
Alaina Petty, 14
Alaina’s family said she was vibrant and determined. She had volunteered after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in September.
Alaina was extremely devoted to her local community, according to a statement made by her family via the Latter-day Saints Living publication.
She was also a part of the “Helping Hands” program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.
Alaina, 14, was also a member of the junior ROTC at her school, a leadership program taught by retired Army personnel.
Alex Schachter, 14
“I felt he really had a bright future on the trombone,” Alexander Kaminsky, director of bands at the Parkland high school, told the paper.
According to a GoFundMe page setup by Schachter’s family in the wake of his death, Schachter played the trombone and baritone as a member of Douglas’ marching band.
Alyssa Alhadeff, 14
Alyssa, 14, was a student at Stoneman Douglas and a soccer player for Parkland Travel Soccer.
Lori Alhadeff, Alyssa’s mother, said she dropped her daughter off at school Wednesday and said “I love you.” When she heard about the shooting, she hustled to school, but was too late.”I knew at that point she was gone. I felt it in my heart,” she said. “Alyssa was a beautiful, smart, talented, successful, awesome, amazing soccer player.She was a member of the school’s Parkland Soccer Club, who honored her in a Facebook post.
You’ll be greatly missed, Alyssa.
We love you so much. You’ll always, always be in our hearts.”
Cara Loughran, 14
Cara danced at the Drake School of Irish Dance in South Florida.
“This morning, I had to tell my 8-year-old daughters that their sweet cousin Cara was killed in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday. We are absolutely gutted,” her aunt, Lindsay Fontana wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
“While your thoughts are appreciated, I beg you to DO SOMETHING. This should not have happened to our niece Cara and it can not happen to other people’s families.”
Danny Vogel, a neighbor, posted condolences on Facebook.
“It is with a heavy heart and much regret that I write these words. Our next-door neighbor’s daughter was one of the lives taken (too) soon by a senseless act of violence at Stoneman Douglas High School.”RIP Cara, and fly with the angels. You will be greatly missed, and we will always love you and celebrate your beautiful life.”
Carmen Schentrup, 16
Carmen was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist.
Last September, Carmen was named one of 53 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in the county. She was one of 10 Douglas students to qualify as a semifinalist, according to The Eagle Eye, the school’s student-run news magazine.
Christopher Hixon, 49
Athletic Director, Wrestling Coach and Security Specialist.
Christopher Hixon came from a family with an extensive background in the military and served in the U.S. Navy. He also was a huge influence on the school’s wrestling team and was killed while patrolling the school’s campus as part of his job as security specialist.
Wrestler Karlos Valentin described the impact that Hixon has on his wrestlers in a statement made to the Sun Sentinel.
Gina Montalto, 14
“She was a kind spirit, always eager to lend a helping hand,” the family said in a statement.
“Gina will be missed not only by her family, but by everyone whose life she touched.”
Gina was also a member of Douglas’ winter guard on the school’s state champion marching band, which was scheduled to perform at a regional competition in Tampa on Saturday, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Helena Ramsay, 17
Her relative, Curtis Page Jr., posted on Facebook that Helena was “a smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person. She was deeply loved and loved others even more so. Though she was some what reserved, she had a relentless motivation towards her academic studies, and her soft warm demeanor brought the best out in all who knew her. She was so brilliant and witty, and I’m still wrestling with the idea that she is actually gone.”
Jaime Guttenberg, 14
Guttenberg was a dancer who was described as the “life of the party” during a statement made by her father, Fred, at a candlelight vigil on Thursday.“My heart is broken. Yesterday, Jennifer Bloom Guttenberg and I lost
our baby girl to a violent shooting at her school. We lost our daughter and my son Jesse Guttenberg lost his
sister. I am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family get’s through this,” Fred wrote in a Facebook post that was also made on Thursday.
Her Facebook page has been made into a memorialized account and features photos of her posing with friends and family.
Joaquin Oliver, 17
Joaquin was a hip hop and sports lover who became a naturalized American citizen in January 2017, after moving to the United States from Venezuela at the age of 3, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Because students often had difficulty pronouncing his name, Oliver went by the nickname “Guac,” short for “guacamole.”
Luke Hoyer, 15
Luke was described as a “good kid” who “never got in trouble” by his grandparents, who live in South Carolina.
“This has devastated our family and we’re all in shock and disbelief. Our hearts are broken. Luke was a beautiful human being and greatly loved.”
Martin Duque Anguiano, 14
Martin was described as “a very funny kid, outgoing and sometimes really quiet,” in a description posted
by his older brother, Miguel, on GoFundMe.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Miguel also paid tribute to his brother on Instagram, stating, “Words can not describe my pain. I love brother Martin you’ll be missed buddy. I know you’re in a better place. Duques forever man I love you junior!!! R.I.P Martin Duque!” The caption was accompanied by a photo of Martin.
Meadow Pollack, 18
According to her cousin, Jake Maisner, Meadow was the youngest member of her family and enjoyed spending time with her family, the Sun Sentinel reported.
She would have attending Lynn University in Boca Raton after she graduated.
Nicholas Dworet, 17
A swimmer at the school who had committed to competing at the college level at the University of Indianapolis at the beginning of February.
His brother, Alexander, was grazed by a bullet in the back of his head.
Nicholas was named by the Sun Sentinel a second-team All-County swimmer in Broward County for his 100-yard freestyle time.
Peter Wang, 15
Peter was a member of the JROTC program at Douglas.
His cousin, Aaron Chen, told the Miami Herald that Peter was last seen wearing his uniform and holding the door open so that people could escape. He had planned on celebrating the Chinese New Year with his family.
Scott Beigel, 35
Geography Teacher and Cross Country Coach.
He was one of several adults at the school who died while protecting students.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Mr. Beigel was shot and killed when he broke protocol and unlocked his classroom door in order to allow students to take refuge from the gunman.
He was mortally wounded while trying to re lock the door.
Again, our prayers for all involved. Keep the pressure on.
Sources: Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, NBC, CNN, Facebook.