I will never forget when I found out about the shooting that occurred at MSD. I was in my high school English class, and got bored and decided to go on Twitter. There, I was overwhelmed with what I saw.
There have unfortunately been many shootings, all over the United States, and this was not the first school shooting, and it won't be the last. This one was just different, for me, it was the first one that I was immediately made aware of, and then followed for updates constantly. By the time I was usually made aware of a shooting it was in the following days once everything had occurred. But for this one, I felt as if I was in Florida. I was glued to my phone, waiting for any updates. They had no confirmed anything, just reports of open gunshots.
Videos surfaced in the hours following, and death tolls started to pile in. On February 14th, 2018, 17 individuals lost their lives. I was bothered, and extremely upset. I watched the news reports on it, read the posts from the grieving loved ones, and felt pain in my heart.
Coming into college, it did not even cross my mind that these people who experienced this trauma would soon be my peers. I mean I'm from a small town in New Jersey, and I picked a school two hours away from Broward in Florida.
At my college orientation a girl sat across from me as we were finalizing our major information on the computers, she asked my major and I responded with "communication, you?" She looked at me and said the following, " because of prior incidents that occurred within the past few months I have made the decision to pursue political science instead of following my passion for English."
I was puzzled, I looked at her and went, "I'm sorry, but I'm confused? What occurred?" she looked at me with eyes that showed hurt on a level I have never seen, and replied: "I went to Stony Douglas."
From that day on I have encountered many individuals who went to Stony Douglas, and I can tell you one thing. They all still feel that pain from that day. To pretend like they don't is ridiculous.
This isn't a political article- but more of a wake-up call.
We bring attention to Stony Douglas for this one day, a year later, but what about every other day. I have now lifetime friends who carry that trauma on their shoulders, and no amount of therapy or support will ever mend that damage that is done.
We can offer our love to them, and our condolences, but I'm letting you know that it will never erase that day. People lost their brother, their sister, their father, their best friends on that day. I don't know what we as a country is supposed to do, but how many more people have to suffer until we wake up.
How many more innocent individuals have to die? How many more kids have to live in constant fear that their school is next?
To Broward county as a whole,
Know that I stand with you. I offer you my support in any way you need. You are built up of the strongest individuals out there. My heart hurts for you every day. I can't imagine the pain you feel, just know that you are in my thoughts always.