April 25, 2018
Friday, April 20, marked the 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, a shooting that killed 15 people at Columbine High School in Colorado. In remembrance, Student Council and Psychology Club collaborated along with various Palmetto administrators creating the opportunity to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?” This was in response to the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland- and the 25 fatal school mass shootings that have followed since Columbine.
Last week’s remembrance event took place during both lunches, and students viewed two short videos regarding the aftermath of the Parkland shooting. The videos also discussed the history of school mass shootings and were also given the chance to express their thoughts on many posters, displaying the hashtag.
“We wanted to focus on moving forward rather than walking out. Our whole goal is to still hear the people’s voice and opinions, however, we’d like to do it in a peaceful manner as well as spread the message of moving forward together,” senior and president of pyschology club Audrey Paz said. “We created the posters in order for students to share their ideas and thoughts and write them down, even if they feel upset or sad about the topic we wanted them to voice their opinions.”
The organization of the event displayed a clear tie between psychology and these terrifying shootings as well.
“The study of psychology is all about trying to understand human thought and behavior so first of all trying to understand why we have these school shootings, where do they come from, [and] how can we understand them [is important] so we can create solutions and then recognizing that this has become your generation’s norm,” psychology teacher Ms. Schoolar said.
The event aimed to make students aware of the severity of the numerous mass school shootings in history, as they suffer the implications.
“I thought, what better way than to talk to you guys, who are so invested, because you are the students that are dealing with it and you’re going to have the children who are going to be the students who are still dealing with it,” Palmetto Activities Director Ms. Valero said. “To hear what you guys think is the way to handle this- how can we end this, how can we put a stop to what’s happening?”
Giving students at Palmetto the opportunity to voice their opinions as well as how they continue to feel in the aftermath of such horror remains a crucial necessity in propelling the creation of solutions to prevent events like Columbine and Parkland from recurring.
“It’s important to hear people and listen to people and start conversations, and that’s all this is is- starting a conversation by keeping this movement alive, keeping it in people’s minds so that we can begin working on solutions, and not just forget about it and think it will never happen again- because it will happen again,” Schoolar said.