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A Year Later, the US Remembers Parkland

With moment of silence, and more
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2019 1:22 PM CST

(Newser) – One year later, Southwest Florida schools honored the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., with a moment of silence at 10:17am Thursday. Schools in at least three counties did so, per Fox 4; Local 10 estimates hundreds of thousands of students and adults across the state participated. Though the shooting actually started later in the day last Valentine's Day, 10:17am was chosen to honor the 17 students and staff members killed, because Stoneman Douglas had an early dismissal so students wouldn't need to be on campus at the exact hour the attack took place. Some skipped school entirely, as officials expected; the AP reports less than 10% of the student population attended. Broward County Public Schools designated Feb. 14 a day of service and love, and while students were working on service projects, grief counselors, therapy dogs, massages, and pedicures were available to them. More coverage surrounding the one-year anniversary:

  • Student Aalyayah Eastmond recalls hiding under a classmate's body in order to survive, reports Today.com. She is now working for gun control.
  • Many Stoneman Douglas students became gun control activists in the wake of the shootings, and survivors David Hogg and Ryan Deitsch spoke to CNN to reflect on the progress made so far. "Through our activism, through our speaking out and working with both politicians, on the federal and local level, we've seen over 67 state laws be passed since the tragedy at our high school," Deitsch said.

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  • The White House released a presidential message: "On this somber anniversary, we honor their memory and recommit to ensuring the safety of all Americans, especially our Nation’s children," it reads, going on to recount what steps have been taken in the year since the shooting. "Melania and I join all Americans in praying for the continued healing of those in the Parkland community and all communities where lives have been lost to gun violence." Read it in full here. Trump's statement was criticized by some; the Washington Post headline notes that it "basically doesn't mention guns."
  • Former President Barack Obama praised the student activists, the Hill reports. "In the year since their friends were killed, the students of Parkland refused to settle for the way things are and marched, organized, and pushed for the way things should be - helping pass meaningful new gun violence laws in states across the country," he tweeted. "I'm proud of all of them."
  • In the year since Parkland, 1,200 more children have been killed by guns. The New York Times has more here.
  • The anniversary comes a day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called for a grand jury investigation into school safety measures across the state, the Miami Herald reports.
(A Parkland dad responded to Louis CK's joke about the shooting.)

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