Texas school shooting: Parkland survivors send message of solidarity to Santa Fe students

'I should be celebrating my last day of high school, but instead my heart is broken to hear of the tragedy at Santa Fe'

As many as 10 people were killed in the shooting, officials have said
As many as 10 people were killed in the shooting, officials have said

Student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting have spoken out to support and mourn with the survivors of the Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas, the latest mass shooting at an American high school to claim innocent lives.

On Twitter, the students — many of whom have been actively seeking to reshape America’s gun laws since the massacre at their school just three months ago — shared stories of their peers who are now joining the tragic fraternity of school shooting survivors, expressed outrage, and mourned the loss of life that will forever scar yet another American community.

“My heart is so heavy for the students of Santa Fe High School. It’s an all too familiar feeling no one should have to experience. I am so sorry this epidemic touched your town — Parkland will stand with you now and forever,” Jaclyn Corin, one of the leaders of the movement that was parked following the February shooting, tweeted.

Others involved in the March for Our Lives effort shared an interview of a student in Santa Fe who told reporters that she was not at all surprised by the shooting because the shootings are a constant reality in the US.

“No, there wasn’t,” the student said when asked if there was any part of her that was reluctant to believe the shooting was actually happening. “It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here, too.”

“This hurts me. No student should ever feel or think this way, but this is our reality,” Sofie Whitney, another Parkland survivor turned activist, tweeted about the young woman’s comments.

At least eight people were killed in the Friday morning shooting, and three others were confirmed to have been taken to the hospital injuries. Officials have reported that they found explosive devices in and around the high school as well.

The students in Santa Fe now join a massive number of students who have been impacted by gun violence at their schools since the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. An analysis by the Washington Post has found that more than 214,000 students have been impacted by gun violence at school since that attack.

Fred Guttenberg, who lost his 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, in the Parkland shooting, responded to the Friday massacre, saying it is the type of thing that he has been worried about every day since February.

“This has been my fear since February 14th, that another mass casualty shooting would happen before we did anything,” Mr Guttenberg wrote in Twitter. “Now, we have more children dead an dour leadership in Washington has done nothing. We do not need thoughts and prayers, we need action and we need it now.”

President Donald Trump, who held listening sessions following the Parkland shooting and appeared to be open to gun control measures before buckled to pressure from gun rights activists and the National Rifle Association, said following the Santa Fe shooting that his administration “is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others.”

“Unfortunately, I have to begin by expressing our sadness and heartbreak over the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas that took place moments ago,” Mr Trump said at the White House before giving a speech about criminal justice reform. “We’re closely monitoring the situation and federal authorities are coordinating with local officials. This has been going on too long in our country. Too many years, too many decades now.”

Cameron Kasky, another Parkland survivor, tweeted disgust at Mr Trump, who also tweeted that “early reports are not looking good Friday morning.

“Treating it like a sports game you sick b******,” Mr Kasky wrote.

Later, though, Mr Kasky followed with a message of support for the Santa Fe students.

“Feel pain, grieve, be hurt and embrace it… but never give up hope,” he tweeted. “Things will be better. The world will be better.”

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