Teresa Frontado

Anguish and Activism: Listen To The Students of Stoneman Douglas High

The grief and mourning continue for the 17 dead students and staff killed in last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. But something else is happening among the anguish of the interrupted lives of the victims and survivors. Out of the agony -- activism.

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Sun Sentinel

Shackled and wearing a red jump suit, school shooter Nikolas Cruz made his first live appearance in a Broward County circuit court five days after he walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and fatally shot 17 people in the worst school shooting in Florida history.

Cruz, a slightly built teen, did not say anything and never looked up at the crowd from his seat at the defense table. It was a tense atmosphere — Cruz was surrounded by Broward Sheriff’s deputies as media members and other lawyers watched from the gallery.

gofundme.com

Gofundme.com pages proliferated almost as soon as cops took Nikolas Cruz into custody after Wednesday’s 17-death massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Donors must parse the funding pages from the fraudulent.

Two main views tend to emerge when it comes to the topic of school vouchers.

Advocates say they give disadvantaged kids access to better schools. But opponents say vouchers drain money and resources from traditional public schools.  

The warnings around Nikolas Cruz seemed to flash like neon signs: expelled from school, fighting with classmates, a fascination with weapons and hurting animals, disturbing images and comments posted to social media, previous mental health treatment.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Since the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, alumni from around the country are coming back home.

They say in this painful moment for their community they have to be present.

Chelsea Tyrell graduated from Stoneman Douglas High in 2016. When she heard about the shooting at her alma mater she drove from the University of North Florida with her golden retriever.

"I thought I'd bring along my 6-year-old golden retriever who's certified as a therapy dog to just come out here if anyone needs any comfort," she said.

Susan Atocker / Sun Sentinel

When James and Kimberly Snead took in Nikolas Cruz late last year, he was a socially awkward teenager lost in the world, depressed by the death of his beloved mother.

But to the Sneads, Cruz appeared to be progressing.

The young man who had been friendly with their son regularly attended adult-education classes, bicycled to his job as a cashier and watched TV shows with the family. Cruz hoped to become an infantry soldier. With the Sneads’ help, the emotionally troubled 19-year-old planned to resume mental-health therapy begun years earlier.

Food scientists at the University of Massachussetts Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

The main piece of equipment? Your smartphone.

Currently, to identify the bacteria that can get you sick, like E. coli or salmonella, food scientists often use DNA testing.

They obtain samples from, say, raw spinach or chicken skin, by rinsing the food and collecting a tiny bit of bacteria from the water. Then they let that bacteria multiply over 24 hours to get a big enough sample.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

President Trump is facing calls to act in the wake of the latest mass shooting, which killed 17 people Wednesday at a high school in Florida, and the White House is not ignoring them. The president will participate in a pair of listening sessions on school safety this week, and on Monday morning the White House said he supports efforts to improve the federal background check system, something Congress has expressed broad support for without acting on after past shootings.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

State lawmakers are facing renewed pressure to pass gun control legislation following last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — and the Legislature is only scheduled to be in session for another two and a half weeks after it returns from the Presidents' Day recess.

State Sen. Gary Farmer, who represents nearby Fort Lauderdale, is pushing the Legislature’s Republican leadership to hear bills he and his Democratic colleagues have introduced in past years.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are organizing protests pushing for legislative action on guns and mental health.

One protest is scheduled for Wednesday in Tallahassee. It will be the 43rd day of the regular legislative session. The high schoolers say they’re going to push state legislators to revise gun laws before the scheduled end of the law-writing session in three weeks.

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