At 10 am, on Wednesday, March 14, Students at Douglas Freeman High School silently walked out of class for 17 minutes to commemorate the victims killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. See the transcript of what students said at the bottom.
Photos: Ellie Somers
Exactly one month ago today, 17 people lost their lives for nothing more than attending school. At 2:19 PM on February 14th, the gunman entered the East Stairwell of Building 12 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an AR-15 enclosed in a black case. He said to a student named McKenna, “Get out of here,” then proceeded to fire shots until 2:28 PM. 17 people were killed within 7 minutes.
Today, we will take a moment of silence for each victim, dedicating one minute for each life lost. While the names and stories are being read, we invite you to sign the #EnoughIsEnough banner.
SPEAKER #1 (Julia Gibson)
Alyssa Alhadeff, 14 years old.
Alyssa was a soccer player at Douglas High School. According to her mother, she was smart, had an amazing personality, was a great creative writer, and stated that “all she had to offer the world was love.” Her fellow teammates remember her ability to make those around her laugh with her unstoppable energy.
SPEAKER #2 (Molly Herring)
Scott Beigel, 35 years old.
Mr. Beigel was a geography teacher, cross-country coach, son, brother, and soon to be married man who died saving the lives of his students. According to his loved ones, Mr. Beigel was “unselfish with his talents and gifts.” His mother Linda described him as a humble son who “never knew the value he had in everybody’s life.”
SPEAKER #3 (Kennedy Mackey)
Martin Anguiano Duque, 14 years old.
Martin was a freshman at Stoneman Douglas High School. According to his brother, Martin was a very funny, outgoing kid who still enjoyed time to himself. Martin was also a member of the Junior ROTC program. He was a thoughtful student and well-liked cadet.
SPEAKER #4 (Jackson Woody)
Nicholas Dworet, 17 years old.
Nicholas was a swimmer at Douglas High School and committed to swimming for the University of Indianapolis. His family said that “he dreamed of making the Olympic swim team and going to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. “He believed he could accomplish anything as long as he tried his best.”
SPEAKER #5 (Olivia Weitzel)
Aaron Feis, 37 years old.
Mr. Feis graduated from Douglas in 1999 and returned in 2002 as the assistant football coach and security guard. According to a colleague, Mr. Feis was like a big teddy bear. He coached hard and was loyal to his colleagues and family. To the end, he lived selflessly and gave his life for his students.
SPEAKER #6 (Betsy Lake)
Meadow Pollack, 18 years old
Meadow was, according to her cousin, “a beautiful girl, inside and out.” She was a good student who planned on attending Lynn University in Boca Raton in the Fall. She was “an incredible girl” who was cherished by her family.
SPEAKER #7 (Morgan Doll)
Jaime Guttenberg, 14 years old.
Jaime was a dancer since she was 2 years old. It was her life passion. She was beloved by her friends and family. Her aunt remembers that she was “intelligent and feisty and she danced with beauty and grace. Her soul was sensitive and compassionate.”
SPEAKER #8 (Amari Pleasants)
Chris Hixon, 49 years old.
Chris was the athletic director and coach at Stoneman Douglas and was a father figure to his wrestling team. His students said, “He’ll make you sweat, he’ll make you bleed, but he’s always with you, whether you win or you lose.” In 2007, he was ordered for deployment to Iraq as a US Naval Reservist.
SPEAKER #9 (Emily Alexander)
Luke Hoyer, 15 years old.
Luke loved basketball and was a big fan of Clemson University. Luke’s family loved his tight hugs, willingness to go on 12-hour car rides to visit family, his great sense of humor, and the fact that he loved chicken nuggets. He looked forward to joining the football team at Douglas High in the Fall.
SPEAKER #10 (Mary Katherine West)
Cara Loughran, 14 years old.
Cara was a beautiful soul and always had a smile on her face. She danced at the Drake School of Irish Dance in South Florida. On social media, Cara’s aunt wrote that she loved the beach and was an excellent student. Cara’s 17-year-old brother, Liam, survived the shooting.
SPEAKER #11 (Anna Turnamian)
Gina Montalto, 14 years old.
Gina was a member of the Winter Guard on the school’s marching band. Her middle school Color Guard instructors described her as the “sweetest soul ever.” Gina’s family wrote on social media that she “brightened any room she entered.”
SPEAKER #12 (Russell Swartz)
Joaquin Oliver, 17 years old.
Joaquin gained his U.S. citizenship last year. He was passionate about football, basketball, and hip-hop. His final social media post was to his girlfriend, saying “Thank you Lord for putting a greater blessing than I could ever imagine into my life this past year. I love you with all my heart.”
SPEAKER #13 (Kate Carlson)
Alaina Petty, 14 years old.
Alaina was vibrant and determined. She volunteered her help after Hurricane Irma, was a part of the “Helping Hands” program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was an active member of the Junior ROTC. According to the area stake president of her church, she was “the light of her family’s life.”
SPEAKER #14 (Michael Horsford)
Helena Ramsay, 17 years old.
According to her family, Helena was a “smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person.” She was deeply loved and loved others even more. Though she was somewhat reserved, she had a relentless motivation towards her academic studies and could not wait to start college in the Fall.
SPEAKER #15 (Meredith Cree)
Alex Schachter, 14 years old.
Alex participated in the school marching band as a baritone player and in the school orchestra as a trombonist. His favorite song was Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4.” Alex’s father said that Alex was “a sweetheart of a kid” and “just wanted to do well and make his parents happy.”
SPEAKER #16 (Mikaelyn Johnson)
Carmen Schentrup, 16 years old.
Carmen was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist and was regarded as brilliant and kind by her peers. She stood out and had an undoubtedly bright future. A fellow piano student said that Carmen was “very friendly and always smiling.”
SPEAKER #17 (Joe O’Connor)
Peter Wang, 15 years old.
Peter was a member of the Junior ROTC program. Peter was shot while holding a door open to let fellow classmates get to safety. His cousin, Lin Chen, said that “His mom always told him not to be selfish and help other people.”
Thank you for joining us today. We believe that this is the first of many steps in finding solutions and taking action to end gun violence both inside and outside of our classrooms. We ask that you please return to class in a quiet manner.