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Parkland Parents, Teachers, and Students Powerfully Recall The School Shooting That Changed Their Lives — And The Nation

In intimate testimonies, the moms and dads of students killed during the Parkland high school shooting, along with students and teachers who were there, revisit that February day, its pain, and what they lost.

Posted on November 25, 2018, at 7:00 a.m. ET

On Valentine’s Day, 17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The tragedy left searing memories in the minds of parents, who waited anxiously to hear if their child survived; teachers, who heroically tried to protect students; and teenagers who lost some of their best friends.

Since then, there have been more mass shootings around the nation. Last month, eleven people died in a Pittsburgh synagogue. This month, twelve people died in a California bar.

More people, like Parkland’s Lori Alhadeff, the mother of 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, have buried their loved ones.

The heart-wrenching crime in Parkland gripped the nation, and its aftermath saw the creation of a movement to change gun laws that started by some of the young survivors. They have since registered people across America to vote.

The Parents
Lori Alhadeff
Mother of Alyssa Alhadeff
“He shot her 10 times. Ten. He shot her on top of her head, he shot her in the heart, he shot her in the spine. If she’d survived, she would have been paralyzed.”
Max Schachter
Father of Alex Schachter
“It was just a beautiful family of six, and now... Now it’s an empty house, and it’s just this void in our house that we’ll never be able to fill.”
April, Phil, and Evelyn Schentrup
Family of Carmen Schentrup
“I can’t remember what day it was, but we woke up one day and were thinking we have to get something to wear to the funeral...and then we realized we had to pick out an outfit for Carmen to be buried in.”
Fred Guttenberg
Father of Jaime Guttenberg
“We pulled off to the side of the road, and that’s where I told my wife that my kid was dead.”
Manuel Oliver
Father of Joaquin Oliver
“I planned my whole life as a father to develop magic moments for my son. ... What I ignored is that those memories I was building were for me. And that is not fair.”
Tony Montalto
Father of Gina Montalto
“We always felt that one day Gina would be able to go out and change the world. Through the movement that’s been created after her passing, as well as the death of the 16 other victims, we’re hopeful that she just might still do that.”
The Teachers
Ronit Reoven
AP psychology teacher
“It’s so silly — ‘Lock your door,’ ‘Do this,’ ‘Do that’ — so much more needs to be done. Never in my life did I think as a teacher, I’d be sitting here doing this, talking about this, saying that I lived through this experience.”
Mike Marino
American history teacher
“You have to be honest, and that’s what I was — I was honest on that first day back at school. I told the kids, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know what the next move is. I don’t how we’re going to feel. I don’t know how long all this is going to last. I don’t know when it’s going to go away.’”
The Students
Aalayah Eastmond
Senior at MSD (she was a junior during the shooting in February)
“I was behind Nicholas Dworet and he passed away, and when he fell over, I just fell over with his body as well. And then I just put him on top of me and then I just laid there because I pretended that I was dead.”
Samantha Grady
Senior at MSD (she was a junior during the shooting and was hit by two bullets)
“He was shooting at us and I could feel the heaviness of the bullets hitting the wall. It just — it was very heavy, that’s all I can say to describe it.”
Sam Zeif
Graduate of MSD (he was a senior during the shooting in February and graduated in June)
“With my brother, I told him, ‘We’re going to be okay, we’re gonna get out of here,’ and he told me that his teacher was shot and he didn’t know what to do. I told him, ‘Don’t do anything, don’t move, hide, stay hidden, just don’t do anything,’ and that whole time I just heard shots going up and down all around me.”

The parents and teachers were filmed between April 6 and April 10. The three students were filmed between March 10 and March 12. All in Parkland.

“It was like a
war in the
classroom. It was
a nightmare.”

In intimate testimonies, the moms and dads of students killed during the Parkland high school shooting, along with students and teachers who were there, revisit that February day, its pain, and what they lost.