Shooting in Parkland Florida Sparks National Outrage


Finn Hogan , Contributor

Considering the increase in protests within the past year like the #MeToo movement, it should come to no surprise that students in American schools are rallying together and pushing for change.

The #NeverAgain movement was started on Twitter not even 24 hours after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Headed by several students who survived the shooting, the most notable being Emma González, high school students all across the country are rallying together in protest of the government’s current policies concerning guns.

As a form of public and forefront protest, several students marched to the Florida capital of Tallahassee on Tuesday, March 20th, and rallied for a change in gun laws. Several students who survived the shooting gave speeches, including Sheryl Acquarola, who composed her speech as though it were a letter directly to Congress.

“Dear Congress: How can you claim to stand for the people but let your kids get slaughtered like animals in their own schools… Dear Congress, how many of the thoughts and prayers that I have received do I need to check in for some damn action? Because thoughts and prayers don’t mean anything without something behind it. And to be quite frank, thoughts and prayers won’t stop my brothers and sisters from dying. Action will.”

As students like Acquarola and González gave speeches, the crowd grew and chanted phrases like “Parkland Strong” and “Vote Them Out.”

There was an open meeting held in the Capitol building, and several students who survived the Parkland shooting were in attendance. The meeting reportedly began with a prayer for the communities affected by the Parkland shooting, that had taken place almost a week prior. Attendees report that the officials proceeded to decline opening debate on a bill that would ban assault weaponry, much to the anger and disappointment of the students in attendance.

Emma González, who was in attendance of the Capitol meeting, tweeted later that night; ““How could they do this to us? Are you Kidding me??? #NeverAgain We are not forgetting this come Midterm Elections – the anger that I feel right now is indescribable.” Another student in attendance, 16 year old Alfonso Calderon, told reporters, “”I am extremely, extremely angry and sad, and I don’t know if I am going to be traumatized because of this. I don’t know if I’m going to have faith in my state and local government anymore.”

Several schools around the country, including our own Nashoba Regional High School, have been organizing walkouts and protests as a way to show solidarity with the students in Florida, as well as to send a loud message to the U.S. government that gun law reforms are wanted by more than just a few people. Nine Nashoba students are on their way down to DC to march with over a million  projected and determined protesters.