COLUMBUS (AP) — Some students around the country marked the anniversary of the school massacre in Parkland, Florida, with moments of silence Thursday or somber vigils while others sought to find threads of positivity in the fabric of tragedy.
Boardman High School in northeast Ohio planned to have a “legacy lockdown” including an active-shooter drill, a chime ringing once for each of the 17 victims from Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and an opportunity to applaud local emergency responders.
It repeats an event they did weeks after the Florida shooting: Students practiced hiding during the drill, then lined the hallways to clap and cheer as dozens of police and other responders walk through the school.
Seventeen-year-old senior Jack Pendleton, who helped plan that as a non-political response to what happened, said it’s a way to help students feel safer and responders feel more appreciated.
“We turn away from the dread and have to look more toward who’s helping us,” he said.
Near Washington, a group of students advocating for stricter gun control planned to hang 671 white T-shirts on a fence outside Bethesda Chevy Chase High School as a “Memorial to Our Lives,” with each bearing the name and age of a teenage victim of gun violence from 2018. That, too, expands on a display they initiated last year after the Parkland shooting.
Emily Schrader, an 18-year-old senior, said the display conveys outrage and loss, but the students who set it up Thursday morning also felt hopeful about demonstrating solidarity with victims of gun violence.
“Bringing it back to our school may be a way to allude to the student activism for the past year but also to keep the focus of the day on the victims and make sure that the stories and lives of the victims are being told,” Schrader said.
Educators were remembering, too. In New York, the Buffalo Teachers Federation encouraged people to wear orange — as hunters do for gun safety — and join with others nationwide dedicating a moment of silence at 10:17 a.m. to mark the time of the shooting.
In Parkland, the 14 students and three staff members who died were being honored quietly through an interfaith service and service projects by students.
A Facebook page set up for mobilizing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School urged people to participate in an online vigil by posting a picture of a lit candle with the hashtag #17Eagles.
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