Florida school shooting: Survivors to urge lawmakers to prevent repeat of massacre

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Students from Stoneman Douglas High School began a journey to Florida's capital to urge lawmakers to prevent a repeat of the mass shooting. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Students who survived the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School began a 400-mile journey to Florida's capital Tuesday to urge lawmakers to prevent a repeat of the massacre that killed 17 students and faculty last week.

About 100 students, accompanied by parent chaperones, boarded three buses in Coral Springs before the trip got underway. Among them was 19-year-old Tyra Hemans, who carried a homemade sign that read "ENOUGH," "#Justice will be served!" and "GunReformNow!"

Another participant in the "Never Again" movement, 16-year-old Alfonso Calderon, described America as "a gun society."

"That is what made (suspect) Nikolas Cruz seem normal," Calderon said. "It is not normal for someone to have a stockpile of weapons in their room when they are mentally ill."

Parent Jon Faber said he was "committed to making sure no child is going to be scared going into a classroom -- that's what they're going to achieve."

The student activists hoped to engage in a conversation involving the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott about gun laws. Yet as they fight to change the future, more questions are emerging about the suspected school shooter's past.

Documents reveal that school administrators were aware of Cruz's obsession with guns. A so-called "Education Plan" from a school for emotionally disturbed students -- which he attended before Stoneman Douglas High School -- show that the school board knew that he was preoccupied with wars, terrorism and people being killed.

"He posted pictures of like 15 or more firearms just on his bed," student Ariana Lopez said. "Like this was normal. Like you could even see a hamper in the background -- that's how ordinary this was to him."

In a robocall sent out to families, the high school's principal said the goal was to resume classes on a modified schedule on Feb. 27. Some teachers may return as early as Friday.
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u.s. & worldshootingshooting rampagehigh schoolschool shootinggun violencestudent safetyparkland school shootingFlorida
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