Students from Stoneman Douglas High School travel to Tallahassee in search of solutions

by | Feb 21, 2018

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School arrived at the state Capitol early Wednesday to meet with state leaders to discuss finding ways of preventing another school shooting like the one that occurred at their school a week ago today.

They traveled by bus to Tallahassee from Parkland arriving late Tuesday evening. They spent the night sleeping on cots at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center a couple of blocks down the street from the Capitol.

“I think they’re making a tremendous difference,” said state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation Florida, whose district  includes Broward County where  Parkland is located and has helped the students organize the #neveragain movement. “It’s working. It’s working. You’ve got to trust me.”

The students gathered in groups to meet with legislators and members of the Florida Cabinet. One of the groups met early with Attorney General Pam Bondi in a private meeting to discuss mental health issues.

“The attorney general was incredibly helpful,” said Jaclyn Corin, a junior at Stoneman Douglas. “We focused on mental health with her. We have really good ideas to help protect the kids in the state of Florida. We’re going to utilize the popularity of social media to do that.”

Sen. Book’s father, Ron Book, who is a lobbyist and helped organize the meetings sat in on the meeting with Bondi. He stepped in to help the students respond to questions about gun control issues, specifically a proposal to ban semi-automatic assault guns like the AR-15 that police say was used by alleged gunmen Nikolas Cruz in last week’s attack.

“We had an extremely positive conversation. That’s what I can tell you,” the elder Book responded. “There were a lot of ideas exchanged and we have a long way to go between now and the end of the day and the next 13 days of the session.”

The students have 70 meetings scheduled while they are in Tallahassee. They also met with Senate and House leaders Wednesday morning. But, some of the students expressed frustration with some lawmakers who failed to show up.

At midday the Stoneman Douglas students will attend a rally with other students from across Florida outside the Capitol to remember the victims of last week’s tragedy and call for action to better protect students in their classrooms.

 

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