One year since Parkland, some Stoneman Douglas students still don't feel safe

Parkland shooting, one year later

The 17 students and staff members who were killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one year ago today, make up one third of the 56 school shooting deaths in 2018 -- the deadliest year on record.

Stoneman Douglas has beefed up security in the past year, adding 100 new cameras and doubling its security staff to 18, but students like senior Aalayah Eastmond are demanding more. She still doesn't feel safe.

"It's just very uncomfortable being at that particular school knowing that that's where I nearly lost my life," Eastmond said.

On Capitol Hill last week, she described what it was like when the gunman opened fire into her classroom.

"When the gunman shot into our classroom Nicholas Dworet was in front of me … As Nicholas fell I matched his every movement and hid beneath his lifeless body," she said.

In the year since the massacre, Congress passed modest legislation allowing states and federal agencies to better share mental health and criminal records, but no new federal gun control laws. However, states, including Florida, passed 66 gun control bills. At least seven states expanded background checks and eight allowed law enforcement to confiscate weapons from at-risk individuals.

Eastmond doesn't believe there's been enough change nationwide.

"Absolutely not, particularly for communities of color. I feel like the conversation of gun violence prevention has been surrounded by mass shootings or school shootings, which is only about 2 percent of gun violence as a whole."

As students applied pressure publicly, a Florida commission investigating the shooting made dozens of recommendations last month including, metal detectors, so-called designated "hard corners" where students can hide and first aid kits with tourniquets to stop bleeding. The report also called for more funding for the state's controversial new guardian program which trains "everyday people" to become armed school guards.

Parkland's district said its adopted more than half of the recommendations so far. Tom Hoyer, who lost his 15-year-old son Luke in the shooting, said the report "could've gone further than it did." His son's bedroom remains untouched.

"It's been kind of a hard year of firsts. You are going through the first birthday, the first family getaway, first Christmas," he said.    

Hoyer is working with the 16 other victims' families pushing for more change.

"I would have a hard time living with myself – I would have very deep regrets if I didn't do something I know could be done and this happened again," Hoyer said.

The victim's parents are focusing on school safety, mental health, and responsible firearm ownership and are already planning another trip to Washington. 

Stoneman Douglas students don't have class on the anniversary of the shooting but are encouraged to volunteer. There will be a moment of silence in the city at 2:21, when the shooting occurred last year.