after parkland
June 11, 2018

Robert De Niro isn't the only one who got a standing ovation at Sunday night's Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York, but the drama students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had to work much harder for theirs. Their drama teacher, Melody Herzfeld, was awarded the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, credited with saving dozens of lives when a fellow student at their Parkland, Florida, high school murdered 17 people with a military-style rifle on Feb. 14. A while after Herzfeld accepted her award, Glee's Matthew Morrison took the stage to laud the entire Stoneman Douglas drama department for turning pain into art, and then some of the drama students stepped up sang about how you can measure a life:

Here's a bit more of the performance:

You can watch Herzfeld's acceptance speech below. Peter Weber

June 4, 2018

As a school resource officer, it was Scot Peterson's job to protect the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

But the school's only armed guard didn't go inside the building when a shooter struck the Parkland, Florida, school, and he told The Washington Post in an interview published Monday that he's still trying to figure out why.

Peterson's inaction — and his subsequent full-pension retirement — triggered nationwide scorn. The beloved officer turned "coward of Broward" County told the Post that reporters still come to his door. A victim's parent is suing him, and his name pops up on TV whenever another school shooting happens.

While serving for nearly a decade at Stoneman Douglas, Peterson envisioned what he'd do in a shooting. Yet even after therapy, watching a simulation of the shooting, and recounting that February day to the Post, he can't remember hearing more than two or three gunshots. And he can't break down why he "just didn't know" to go inside.

"I've cut that day up a thousand ways with a million different what-if scenarios," Peterson said, "but the bottom line is I was there to protect, and I lost 17." Read Peterson's full interview at the Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

April 12, 2018

IBM announced Wednesday that it no longer advertises on The Ingraham Angle, making it at least the 23rd advertiser to drop support for the Fox News opinion show since host Laura Ingraham mocked Parkland high school shooting survivor David Hogg in late March for not getting into some colleges. On Tuesday, Blue Apron and SlimFast announced they will no longer run ads on the show. While Ingraham was on vacation last week, and amid speculation she wouldn't return to the air, Fox News came to her defense. "We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts," Fox News co-president Jack Abernethy said in an April 2 statement.

After Hogg called for a boycott in response to Ingraham's comments about him, The Ingraham Angle cut its ad time to about seven minutes from 14.5 minutes beforehand, CNN reports. Ingraham isn't the only loser after tweeting about Hogg, who became a highly visible advocate for new gun laws after 17 people were shot dead at his high school — on Monday, conservative commentator Jamie Allman lost his nightly TV show on Sinclair Broadcast Group's St. Louis station KDNL after tweeting a vulgar threat at Hogg, and he resigned from his 12-year-old morning radio show Tuesday.

For more information on the Ingraham boycott, The Opposition's Jordan Klepper ran through what sparked it, played Ingraham's response to the "Stalinist" and anti–First Amendment boycott — and her support for previous boycotts, and cracked jokes ("I know conservatives are being silenced because I hear about it 24 hours a day on Fox, and 34 hours a day on InfoWars") on Wednesday night. You can watch that below. Peter Weber

March 28, 2018

In an op-ed for The New York Times published Tuesday, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Isabelle Robinson defended her classmates from those who say last month's mass shooting might not have happened if they had been "a little nicer" to the alleged gunman, former student Nikolas Cruz.

Robinson said her first interaction with Cruz took place in the seventh grade, when he threw an apple at her during lunch. The next year, she was a peer counselor, assigned to help him with his homework. She felt uncomfortable being alone with Cruz, "forced to endure him cursing me out and ogling my chest until the hourlong session ended," she said, and only now does she understand "that I was left, unassisted, with a student who had a known history of rage and brutality."

This month, high schoolers around the country walked out of their classrooms in solidarity with Stoneman Douglas High, but there was a counter-protest called #WalkUpNotOut, which urged students instead to go up to someone who was an outsider and talk to them. This implied that school violence could be prevented if kids "befriend disturbed and potentially dangerous classmates," Robinson said. "The idea that we are to blame, even implicitly, for the murders of our friends and teachers is a slap in the face to all Stoneman Douglas victims and survivors."

Robinson does not want to see isolated teens rejected, but she says it's the responsibility of administrators and counselors to "seek those students and get them the help they need," and "no amount of kindness or compassion alone would have changed the person that Nikolas Cruz was or the horrendous actions he perpetrated. That is a weak excuse for the failures of our school system, our government, and our gun laws." Read the entire powerful op-ed at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

March 26, 2018

A majority of Americans voters favor stricter guns laws, from 91 percent who back universal background checks to the 60 percent who want a ban on assault rifles and semiautomatic weapons, according to a Fox News poll released Sunday. By a 53 percent to 40 percent margin, voters said protecting people against gun violence is more important than protecting gun rights, though people in gun-owning households disagreed with that statement by a margin of 57 percent to 37 percent. Voters in gun households were split on banning assault rifles, with 50 percent opposed and 47 percent in favor.

A 57 percent majority of all voters oppose letting teachers and school officials carry guns on school grounds, an increase from 2013, though 69 percent of respondents favored putting armed guards in schools. Overall, 38 percent of voters said it is extremely important for Congress to pass gun legislation, versus 20 percent who said it isn't important at all; 7 percent said it is extremely likely Congress will pass gun legislation, while 43 percent said that's not at all likely.

A 54 majority of voters disapprove of President Trump's position on guns — though 34 percent say he's too close to the gun lobby and 13 percent say he's too supportive of gun control — and the NRA's favorability is slipping among gun-owning households (67 percent, from 71 percent in 2013) and all voters, 49 percent of whom have a positive opinion of the NRA and 45 of whom disapprove, down from 56 percent favorability in January 2013. The poll was conducted March 18-21, before Saturday's March for our Lives, by Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) among a random national sample of 1,014 registered voters. It has a margin of error of ±3 percentage points. Peter Weber

March 21, 2018

A law passed in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting is being used in an attempt to temporarily seize firearms from the attacker's brother, Zachary Cruz, CNN reports. Cruz, 18, was arrested Monday for trespassing on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School grounds, where his older brother, Nikolas Cruz, killed 17 people last month.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office filed a risk protection order against Zachary Cruz after his arrest, which, if granted, "will prohibit Cruz from possessing and acquiring firearms for a period of time to be determined by the court." The new law is part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which has only been in effect for a few weeks and allows for police to temporarily seize guns from a person in custody for an involuntary mental health assessment. For trespassing, Cruz was ordered a psychological evaluation by a Florida judge and had his bond set at $500,000, although the amount for misdemeanor trespassing is usually $25.

Cruz had apparently trespassed at the school at least three times, having "surpassed all locked doors and gates." He has additionally been ordered by the court to wear an ankle monitor and stay at least a mile away from the school. Cruz's attorney has argued that Zachary is being unfairly punished by the court for his brother's attack. Jeva Lange

March 14, 2018

Thousands of students across the country walked out of their schools at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to mark the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The students — who left from elementary schools, universities, and every grade in between — called for stricter gun laws using signs like "I wanna make it to graduation" and "no more silence." According to organizers, people at more than 2,800 schools and universities signed up to participate. Take a look at the powerful protests across the nation below. Jeva Lange

Newtown High School, Sandy Hook, Connecticut

PS 321, Brooklyn, New York

Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Point Loma High School, San Diego, California

Overland High School, Aurora, Colorado

Columbine High School, Columbine, Colorado

Washington, D.C.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida

March 14, 2018

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, students at schools across the U.S. and as far away as Australia and Germany plan to walk out of class for 17 minutes to mark the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed in that shooting, and most of the students participating will be protesting for stricter gun laws, though the protests will take different forms at different schools. According to organizers, students at more than 2,800 schools and universities have signed up to participate.

Some schools are embracing the protests, while others pledge to suspend any students who participate. According to the ACLU, schools can discipline students for leaving class to protest but can't make the punishment any harsher because the political nature of the walkout. There is another school walkout planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, and a march in Washington on March 24. Peter Weber

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