SILVER SPRING — Students from various high schools in Montgomery County filled the auditorium at Montgomery Blair High School last night to welcome survivors from the Valentine’s Day shooting that happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
As media waited outside during the event, a black van pulled up in front of the school at 7:52 p.m. and one by one, the survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School made their way into the building. Also in attendance was Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) representing the Parkland community, and Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the organizer of the event. While media were not allowed inside at the request of Montgomery County high school students in attendance, Raskin said survivors would speak with reporters after the event. However, the Parkland survivors left afterwards without speaking to reporters, claiming fatigue.
Around 9:30 p.m., students began to leave the event, some deeply concerned. Sophie Holt, 16, a sophomore at Albert Einstein High School said she attended last week’s school walkout protest and attended this event at Blair because she believes the Parkland survivors’ movement is important and hopefully will change current gun laws.
“There has been so many mass shootings in the past 10 years in this country, we need a change in this country,” said Holt. “The fact that they’re [survivors] willing to stand up there and like, make a difference and get the message across to the country that we really need to make a change, I think that’s really cool,” she said.