Creating Change for School Safety Procedures, Gun Control, and Mental Illness

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   My name is Silvana Hanrahan and I am a junior at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida. As a student, a daughter, and a friend, my heart aches for those who were affected by the horrible events that took place on February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I have many mutual friends who were affected by this event mentally, emotionally, and physically- some losing their lives. Reading social media posts and watching videos from my friends who were at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the shooting was gut wrenching and surreal. I never thought that something like this would ever happen so close to home, and I know that many others feel the same way. No one ever thinks that something like this could happen to them. This goes to show that this can happen to anyone anywhere at any time, including in Parkland, which was voted the safest town in Florida the day prior.

   I love going to school and I have never had any fear of attending school. After this massacre, I found myself thinking about ways to evacuate my school or what classrooms would be most adequate to hide in if something were to happen at my school. I have thought about sitting under a desk or in a dark closet, calling my mom to tell her that there is an active shooter in my school and that she may not be able to hug her only daughter again. No one should ever have to fear this or even have to think about it. These issues were not prominent when my mom or many of my friends' parents were teens. This is a new era, and this type of violence must end.

   We must combat hate with love. My friends, my school, the county, the state, the country, and the world have all come together to show their support toward the families and friends of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Palm Beach and Broward counties are very close-knit and it is amazing how we all are able to console and support each other through this extremely emotional time, but we need change. Desperately. Assigning two police officers to a school campus for three days while the event is still being broadcasted on the news, and then letting the officers go and forgetting about the event a week later is no solution. Metal detectors, full time CERTIFIED police officers on school campuses, and gun control laws are desperately needed in our schools and country. Mental disease must be talked about and action must be taken.

   On February 14, 2018, seventeen family members did not return home. Thousands of innocent civilians have not returned home due to other mass shootings. These horrific events need to end.

   I am passing this petition along to the President of the United States, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and other members of the United States Congress.

   If you see something, say something.



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