"Never again!" (English Version)

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It was around 9:50 am on March 27th, 2018, when students had gathered on the sports ground of Gymnasium am Mühlenberg (grades 5-12), Bad Schwartau, Germany.

The junior grade students bunched up in the “seven”, the upper classes in the “one”, both of which had been marked in the grass, when we turned our eyes up to the roof of our school in anticipation, where some student photographers and our principal Amira Yassine were waiting with a camera. 17- this is the number of victims claimed by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on February 14th, 2018.

"Never Again“ is the name of the national movement founded by survivors of the school shooting in Florida, which we want to support with this symbolic act in its fight for stricter gun control. Hundreds of thousands of (especially young) people took to the streets in every major city of the US on March 24th to protest for stricter gun laws, under the banner of the (also) student-led movement “March for our Lives”.

Even though the lower grades maybe couldn’t really fully understand the reason for our gathering, the “one” (grades 9-12) stood in silence almost entirely when the photo was taken. We feel connected to the students of Stoneman Douglas, them being as old as we are right now when a former fellow student killed 17 of them.

When the fire alarm went off at 2:20 pm on February 14th, 2018, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas Highschool in Florida, US, were sitting in class. There had already been a fire drill earlier that day, making this sudden second alert seem unexpected. Nevertheless, students and teachers started leaving their classrooms.

At this point, nobody could know that the alarm had been triggered by former Stoneman student Nikolas Cruz. With him: Smoke bombs and an AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle. Aiming at the fleeing students and teachers, firing for six minutes, he fatally hits 17 of them, injuring 17 more, some of them critically. This was the twelfth incident of an assault carried out with a weapon, each time taking the lives of more than three people, since President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. 

Florida has one of the loosest policies in the US concerning the purchase of guns. Nikolas Cruz, having a history of being investigated by the FBI, should never have been allowed to acquire a weapon.

”So your guns are more important than our lives?”, “Protect kids not guns“ are just two examples of signs that were held up during these protests, by teenagers, who are fed up with gun lobbyists buying into the campaigns of politicians, to make sure they keep the gun laws as they are right now, teenagers who feel disappointed with their president, who in the aftermath of the shooting in February suggested to arm teachers instead of proposing new gun policies.  

Through this symbolic 17, we wish to commemorate the victims of the shooting:

Alyssa Alhadeff (14)

Scott Beigel (35)

Martin Duque Anguiano (14)

Nicholas Dworet (17)

Aaron Feis (37)

Jaime Guttenberg (14)

Chris Hixon (49)

Luke Hoyer (15)

Cara Loughran (14)

Gina Montalo (14)

Joaquin Oliver (17)

Alaina Petty (14)

Meadow Pollack (18)

Helena Ramsay (17)

Alex Schachter (14)

Carmen Schentrup (16)

Peter Wang (15)


“Never again!”


(Written for the student paper by Ella Steffen, Q1b)