Learning With: ‘Parkland: A Year After the School Shooting That Was Supposed to Change Everything’

Learning With: ‘Parkland: A Year After the School Shooting That Was Supposed to Change Everything’

3. Anthony Borges, 16, received five bullet wounds as he barricaded a classroom door to protect other students. What physical and emotional challenges has he faced since then? How has he tried to overcome them? How are Anthony’s challenges similar or different from the ones faced by others interviewed in the article?

4. Jammal Lemy, 21, became politically active after the shooting. What types of activities has he helped to organize and what impact have they had? How does Jammal respond to adults who say “You can’t. You’ve got to have realistic hopes and dreams?”

5. Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed in the shooting, said: “What happened to Joaquin happens every single day. This is not about Joaquin only. This is not about Parkland only. This is not about Florida only.” What does he mean by this statement?

6. On the day of the one-year anniversary, Sarah Lerner, a teacher at Stoneman Douglas, says she will “try not to watch the news. I just need to be.” What does she mean by this? What are other ways the survivors interviewed in the article plan to observe the day?

Finally, tell us more about what you think:

— What can be learned from the Parkland shooting and its aftermath one year later? How does the article change your understanding of the tragedy? Have the events of the year affected your perspective on the power and voice that young people have?

— How did your school and community address the tragedy? Did the shooting lead to changes that you know of? Do you feel any safer in your school today?

— What did you learn from the personal stories of the nine Stoneman Douglas community members profiled in the article? Is there a particular portrait that affected you most? What particular passage, quote or photo stands out to you?

— Anna Crean, 16, one of the Parkland shooting survivors, said:

One day they released a bunch of video footage from the shooting. We watched it together. Every time something gets put out there, people get very upset, but people need to see it.

Do you agree with her? Why is it important to look at and remember what happened in Parkland that day no matter how upsetting it may be? Have we done enough to remember and honor the victims and survivors of the shooting?

— Ms. Kramer and Ms. Harlan highlight some of the changes in gun laws and policy since the shooting:

State legislatures, both Republican- and Democratic-controlled, passed 76 gun control laws in the past year — from bans on bump stocks and caps on magazine sizes to new minimum-age requirements and expanded background checks. Among the victories for gun control advocates was an omnibus bill in Florida that raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm in the state to 21 and extended the waiting period to three days. In all, more than half the states passed at least one gun control measure in 2018, with Washington and New York joining the trend in 2019. …

But at the federal level, any momentum for change was quickly stymied by partisan gridlock. Republican leaders in Congress remained silent as their Democratic colleagues called, once again, for changes in the wake of a mass shooting. The White House flip-flopped on promises to raise the minimum age to purchase rifles and to enforce universal background checks. And the N.R.A. pressed lawmakers, including the president, to give priority to the interests of gun owners.

How do you view these changes? Do you feel that they are enough? Why or why not? Are there additional changes you would like to see prevent future gun violence and school shootings?

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