High School Pays Tribute to Parkland Victims

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Amityville Memorial High School students joined their peers from across the country on March 14 in paying tribute to the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and other schools over the last 20 years.

During a morning assembly in the auditorium, student leaders spoke about the 17 people who lost their lives in the Florida tragedy, held a 17-second moment of silence and shared a video, which included the father of Parkland victim Alex Schachter reading a poem his son wrote a few weeks before his death. Additionally, 17 Amityville students took a vow of silence for the day to honor the victims. 

The assembly was part of nationwide movement by students to show solidarity for improved school safety. Principal Maria Andreotti spoke about security procedures that are in place in Amityville schools. She also encouraged students to be the “eyes and ears” of their community by reporting any concerns, including social media posts. 

“The students, staff and administration of Amityville Memorial High School all want to create a safe and secure environment where the focus is on learning,” Ms. Andreotti said. “I am very proud of our students who paid tribute to their peers in Parkland and engaged in meaningful discussions about school safety.”

Sophomore Jeffrey Reyes Espinal said students need to make their voices heard. Students wrote letters to several lawmakers expressing their desire for legislation that addresses school safety.

“It is important to make sure that something like this will never happen again,” he said. “We can change for the better.”

Junior Meghan Luders, one of the student speakers at the assembly, spoke of the importance of having a respectful dialogue with school administrators about safety within their own school. She was one of several hundred students who signed a banner that will be sent to Parkland, which read, “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, We Hear You, We See You, Amityville Memorial High School Stands With You.”