PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Joining David Wright to deliver the lineup card before Friday’s Grapefruit League opener provided a brief respite from an ongoing nightmare for five students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the school in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed by a teenager firing an assault rifle.
But when the pregame ceremony was over, the students went back on message, determined to stay united with their classmates. Their goal is to prevent any more shooting tragedies like the horror that affected their community.
“We’re the students that are going to make the difference,” said sophomore Bailey Feuerman, 15. “You’re not going to stop seeing us until we get the changes made that we want to see. We’re never stopping until we get that.”
Two of the students had their hair dyed blonde to honor a friend gunned down in the attack on Feb. 14. Another told how a classmate was shot three times in the rampage. All 30 MLB clubs wore caps from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball team during Friday’s openers, and as much as the students appreciated the support, their focus remains on continuing the fight against gun violence.
“We have to find a way to make sure this never happens again,” said senior Jordan Faber, 17. “This is not a party issue — this is an American issue. This needs to be fixed. We’ll be all over the country making sure that our message is heard. That this is the last school shooting ever. Columbine, Sandy Hook. That’s when it should have ended. We’re going to change this.”
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been quite visible on the national scene since the shooting, talking with U.S. senators and President Trump and taking on the National Rifle Association, both on TV and social media. On Wednesday, they marched in Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, to challenge the state’s lawmakers on guns. That group included Feuerman, who was clear about their mission.
“Stricter gun control, stricter background checks,” she said. “And we really want all AR-15s to be banned because nobody should ever have to experience a tragedy like our school experienced.”