Since the horrifying shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas one month ago, the #NeverAgain movement advocating for gun control has gained momentum at an incredible rate. March 14 marked the one-month anniversary of the heart-wrenching event, and became the day of a national school walkout.
However, American Heritage prohibited its students from participating in the walkout due to safety concerns. Although, they did allow students to make their voices heard and show solidarity with Stoneman Douglas in other ways. Students were allowed to wear orange shirts or other shirts that showed their support with MSD.
The WAHS morning show crew put together a touching video that was played during third hour at the time of the walkout (10 a.m.). Administration allowed and encouraged teachers to take the time out of their classes to watch the twenty-two minute presentation, which ended with a student-created music video.
Students were also busy planning their own event. Seniors Min-kyu Kim, Zihan Kabir, Zachary Spicer, Alec Chao, Aditya Bafna, David Min and Andrew Bass were busy spreading the word about a safe alternative to the walkout. Only planned the day before, the group tried to notify as many students as possible about the plan for students to gather at the bleachers by the football field during lunch to show their support for Stoneman Douglas.
“Our goal was to have an event that would get as many people involved while ensuring that we weren’t breaking any rules or creating any safety hazard. We also wanted to ensure that our motive focused on standing in solidarity with MSD over anything else,” Kim said.
Once at the bleachers, those who organized the event provided about 80 students with posters and water to anyone who needed some. National Honor Society members were also present to sell “Heritage stands with MSD” bracelets for a dollar each.
Throughout the lunch hour, over 100 students passionately chanted for change. Spicer also called for a minute of silence in remembrance of the 17 lives lost Feb. 14 less than 20 miles from where they were standing.
Senior Jack Fris, who attended Stoneman Douglas until January 2017, shared his story. Fris knew four of the victims. One was his coach. Another was a friend of 14 years.
Sophomore Alexandra Grosser transferred to Heritage from Stoneman Douglas shortly after the shooting took place. Grosser, like Fris and many others of the hour, spoke her mind, telling her story of how she was in that building 28 days ago and begging for some action to be taken.
“We were really surprised. One of our biggest worries was that we wouldn’t have a lot of students coming out and that it would end up not working out in the end, but so many people showed up — much more than I expected,” Spicer said. “We were hoping for 50, reaching for 100, and got so much more than that — I really couldn’t count.”
“The energy and everything the student body did showed that they really want to be heard and we were able to give them this opportunity, and we’re glad for that,” Spicer said.
Senior Harrison Arnberg and sophomore Jackson Arnberg have also created a GoFundMe page to gather funds for students to attend the march for gun control in Washington, D.C. March 24. More information about the Arnbergs’ campaign can be found on their website. American Heritage is also providing chaperoned buses for 160 students to attend the march in Parkland the same day.