Now student journalists are telling the stories of the kids who’ve died.
On February 14, 2018, 17 students and teachers were killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Today, student journalists are shining a light on a horrific statistic: 1,200 children in the U.S. have been killed with guns in the 365 days since the Parkland shooting.
“Since Parkland” debuted two days ago, bringing together the words of young writers and the stories of kids who died by gunfire. Each of the 1,200 children killed — whether in school shootings, in domestic violence incidents, by stray bullets, etc. — is remembered on the website.
Their stories are told by more than 200 teenage journalists from all over the U.S., who began working together on the project last summer.
The stories are short, but powerful:
She was an artist who loved to bake, craft, sew. A generous, selfless girl who cared for others and enjoyed giving gifts. She was one of four adopted children in the family and was homeschooled with three of her six siblings.
She “was unrelenting joy and exuberance,” reads an online testimonial by her family. “ A loving and tender young woman who was always concerned about others’ well-being. A sweet hearted social butterfly who enjoyed good jokes and teasing.”
Lia Lin Collier, 15, and her three siblings were fatally shot by their mother in a murder-suicide on Oct. 15, 2018, at their home in Columbia, Tennessee.
Why did student journalists take up this project (getting some help and support from local newspapers and the independent, not-for-profit reporting project The Trace)? Because they’re the ones who are living every day in the thick of the crisis, enduring regular active-shooter drills from their earliest years in the classroom, walking into school each morning in constant fear of a lockdown. Perhaps the combined work of students who care — the ones who’ve lived through the era of never-ending school shootings — can be what finally makes a difference.
The teen journalists of Since Parkland will continue to report on children’s gun deaths as the project sadly remains necessary. And they’ll add updates to the existing stories where they can. If you know a child who was killed by a gun in the past year, you can help Since Parkland update their story by providing a photo if one isn’t already on the site, or offering additional information about the child’s life. Email [email protected] if you have a photo or information to share.