Serra Sowers

One year ago today, following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the students of SHS rallied together to fight for their right to protection.

Laila Rahbari

While students nationwide are celebrating a day of love and happiness, for many, today is also a day of remembrance. Today is the day we remember the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year .

24 school shootings, 114 injured, 35 killed. In 2018, the number of mass shooting skyrocketed in the United States. With seemingly ineffective gun laws, the United States has a long way to go before actually being able to ensure the safety of the public. 

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) school shooting shocked everyone, especially high school students across the country. Since then, some actions have been taken by the U.S. government and independent organizations, such as March For Our Lives, to maximize gun control and protect students.

As a result of this calamity, the Florida Senate enacted the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. Passed in March of 2018, the act aims at further enabling gun control, and school safety and security. Additionally, the act changes the purchasing age of firearms from 18 to 21.

In the past year, new acts and initiatives have been put in place to improve school safety. Captain Rick Francis, the Director of Safety and Security for SCPS, has worked closely with Seminole County Superintendent Walt Griffin to add at least two school resource officers to each high school campus. Leadership students from across the county have also had the opportunity to attend a seminar in November led by Francis and Griffin regarding the theme “See something, Say something” to promote active citizenship at their schools.

Both Francis and Griffin also promoted the new P3 Campus app. This app allows you to anonymously report suspicious behavior or unusual activity to the Seminole County Police Department and Crimeline. They hope that by encouraging students to download the app, more tips can prevent further incidents.

With an increased awareness from students and further safety precautions taken by the government, students, teachers, and staff are beginning to feel safer in schools.

“I think school safety has improved due to new ways of spreading awareness, with new organizations such as March For Our Lives that allow students to be more aware of gun violence,” said sophomore Chloe Sakr.

The last 365 days have brought about many changes, but one thing has remained constant: the necessity for activism and solidarity during times of crisis. We have the power to make a difference, so let’s do it.