Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors speak to MCPS students at Blair High School


Catherine Hodge

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivor Delaney Tarr gives MCPS students a group hug after the event

Nana Osei Tutu and Jessica Cruz

Former and current Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students spoke to about 650 Montgomery County students at Montgomery Blair High School. They talked about the issue of gun control.

Stoneman Douglas experienced a mass shooting on February 14, in which 17 student and staff lives were taken. Survivors and former students have been going to different states to meet with legislative representatives to make their voices heard and demand change.

Stoneman Douglas students were welcomed with a standing ovation from the crowd. No media reporters or parents were allowed inside the auditorium, it was strictly a student event. The event was scheduled to end at 9 pm but ran 15 minutes over to allow for the eager MCPS students to ask more questions.

“It’s unbelievable. I can’t even fathom that our support and movement has reach all over the country,” Stoneman Douglas senior Sofie Whitney said. “There’s hundreds of kids just listening to us speak, we’re just like normal kids and this is crazy.”  

Maryland 8th district Representative Jamie Raskin and Florida 21st district Representative Ted Deutch organized the meeting at Blair on Monday, February 26. MCPS students expressed their solidarity and were able to ask questions to Stoneman Douglas students. Deutch expressed that change must happen right now. “This is the generation that insist upon change,” Deutch said.

“Watching them on stage, you hear how eloquently they’re speaking and how educated they are. It’s empowering,” senior Catherine Hodge said. “Getting to meet them off stage and hugging them, you realized they’re your peers. It really brings home that idea that the situation could have happened anywhere.”

Various MCPS student representatives got the chance to sit on stage with Stoneman Douglas students and Deutch to explain the actions taking place around the county in support of changing gun control laws. On March 14 at 10 am thousands of students plan to walk out for 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims who died. Many also plan to attend the nationwide march on March 24.

On Monday afternoon, just hours before the event, President Donald Trump said, “I believe I’d run in [to Stoneman Douglas], even if I didn’t have a weapon,” referring to the inaction of the armed police officer at the school. Stoneman Douglas senior Ryan Deitsch replied to Trump’s comment, saying, “Let me just say, there was an armed deputy at our school who did not go in, so I would like to see Donald Trump haul himself.”

Overall, the main point of the discussion was to get students aware of actions they can take to put pressure on the government, that students lives matter, and that we’re the generation that will bring change to gun control policies.

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