Parkland Shooting Survivors Spread Message Of Ending Gun Violence In Delray Beach

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By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor

Students and teachers who survived the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland converged outside Delray Beach City Hall with their parents, friends and supporters with one message: Enough is enough.

The crowd chanted enough is enough and never again in unison after leaders like Delray Mayor Cary Glickstein, Rep. Lois Frankel and Rep. Ted Deutch spoke about gun control and ending gun violence on Presidents’ Day.

The two-hour peace rally to end gun violence was sponsored by leaders groups like of United+, Interfaith Justice League, Palm Beach County Environmental Alliance, S.E.E. South Florida, Pop-Up Protests, Mothers Against Murderers Association, Boycott4Freedom and others.

Political leaders, students and teachers demanded action. Attendees held signs and donned T-shirts. Signs were against AR-15 rifle, which is the weapon former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, used to open fire and kill 17 students and teachers at the school on Valentine’s Day.

Student survivors sparked the Never Again movement which calls for stricter background checks for gun buyers and a plan for a nationwide protest that they will take to Washington, D.C. on March 24. They spoke about their movement and plans to demand change from political leaders.

“I have never been prouder to be a teacher,” said Stoneman Douglas teacher Ariel Hertz.

Unsure of how she would ever return to the school where the tragedy occurred, she said she would because of her students.

“These kids deserve better,” she said. “Your kids deserve better. I deserve better. That’s what we need to fight for.”

Students shared the horror they saw in their school on what is supposed to be a day of love. They said they have banded together to be change agents and to prevent another tragedy from happening.

Delray Mayor Glickstein helped organizers hold the event outside City Hall.

“Since Sandy Hook there have been 239 school shootings nationwide where 438 have been shot in our schools, 138 of whom were killed at places like Townville Elementary South Carolina, Aztec High School in New Mexico, Marshall County High school in Kentucky, Rancho Tehama Elementary School in California, Freeman High School in Washington, North Park Elementary School, in Ohio, leaving few states untouched,” he said. “And while each new tragedy recalls past suffering, Tallahassee and Washington politicians don’t want to talk about it and do nothing. Now the horrors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will be etched in our memories, regrettably less for the great school and city they are and more for the senseless death and destruction of children, friends, neighbors, teachers, and bright futures and families shattered in an instant by a sick, deranged teenager who, but for the inaction and complicity of politicians and others, never should have been anywhere near a firearm.”