US: Stoneman Douglas High seniors prepare for a 'balancing act' at graduation - - PressFrom - US
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US Stoneman Douglas High seniors prepare for a 'balancing act' at graduation

17:50  02 june  2018
17:50  02 june  2018 Source:   msn.com

Parkland student David Hogg calls for 'die-in' protest at Publix supermarkets

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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.—The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Class of 2018 will be short four murdered seniors at graduation on Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack, went to senior prom in May but said this week he will not be at graduation . “It’s too tough for me,” Pollack said.

On February 14, 2018, a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others.

a man looking at the camera: Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Emma Gonzalez speaks during March for Our Lives to demand stricter gun control laws on March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C. © Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel/TNS Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Emma Gonzalez speaks during March for Our Lives to demand stricter gun control laws on March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Class of 2018 will be short four murdered seniors at graduation on Sunday, June 3. For the 784 students who march for their diplomas, it will be a day of celebration layered with sadness. For the families of Nicholas Dworet, Joaquin Oliver, Meadow Pollack and Carmen Schentrup, graduation day will be the latest marker on a relentless parade of pain, 109 days since their loved ones were killed in a mass shooting that claimed 17 lives at the Parkland school on Valentine's Day.

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Stoneman Douglas High School. An "A" School of Excellence. Blanche Ely High . Boulevard Heights Elementary. Boyd H. Anderson High . Bright Horizons Center. Free SAT/ ACT Prep Classes for MSD Students. Graduation Requirements. Free Microsoft Office Student Advantage. Gifted and Talented.

On Sunday, seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas will march to "Pomp and Circumstance," and bring an end to their high school years. Parkland seniors prepare for a bittersweet graduation without 4 of their classmates.

Families of the slain seniors have been invited to the ceremony at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, but some parents cannot bear to attend.

Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack, went to senior prom in May but said this week he will not be at graduation. "It's too tough for me," Pollack said. "I did enough with the prom. It almost killed me."

April and Phil Schentrup, parents of Carmen Schentrup, also said they will not attend.

"I hold (the Broward school district) responsible for my daughter's death," April Schentrup said this week. "Why would we go and celebrate with them?"

But not all are staying away. Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin Oliver, said his family will be on hand, because honoring Joaquin's memory "demands us to."

"I'm not sure of the school's plans. We'll see what they have in store," Oliver said. Asked if a posthumous diploma might be awarded his son, Oliver said, "If so, my wife (Patricia) will make the walk for him."

Stoneman Douglas graduation: Class of 2018 remembers those who aren't there

  Stoneman Douglas graduation: Class of 2018 remembers those who aren't there "Remember those not with us, and celebrate all the successes the Class of 2018 has brought to the community and the world!" Those words, in a Twitter post Sunday by Ty Thompson, principal of Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, seemed to capture the bittersweet tenor, the joy but also the pain, of Sunday afternoon's Class of 2018 graduation ceremony. The commencement marked the end of a school year beset by the horror of the Feb.

As they prepare to graduate on Sunday, the Parkland seniors are grieving over the loss of friends while navigating tough decisions about the future. The aunt of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting victim attended a walkout Wednesday at the Parkland, Florida, high school where her niece

Nearly four months after the Parkland, Florida, community was devastated by a deadly school shooting, seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gathered on Sunday to receive their diplomas.

As their children's classmates move on with their lives — to college, careers and eventually families of their own — parents of the slain students are haunted by thoughts of what might have been. April and Phil Schentrup wonder if Carmen would have chosen an honors program at their alma mater, the University of Florida, or gone across country to the University of Washington in her pursuit of becoming a biomedical researcher. Nicholas Dworet was supposed to attend the University of Indianapolis and join its elite swimming team, and he harbored dreams of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics. Joaquin Oliver, who loved basketball and was buried in a Dwyane Wade jersey, wanted to see political change in his native Venezuela and talked about a career in marketing. Meadow Pollack was supposed to attend Lynn University in Boca Raton and spoke to friends about becoming a lawyer.

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Chris Grady, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sits at a memorial Feb. But now bullets were tearing through his own suburban Florida school. As they prepare to graduate on Sunday, the Parkland seniors are grieving from the loss of friends while navigating tough decisions about the

On Sunday, seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas will march to "Pomp and Circumstance," and bring an end to their high school years. Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduation will take place at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, on Sunday afternoon, according to Broward County Public Schools

The school district and Stoneman Douglas administrators have been tight-lipped about plans for the ceremony, which is closed to the media and will draw heavy security. It is unknown if there will be any guest speakers or how the 17 victims will be memorialized. Principal Ty Thompson did not respond to an e-mail and phone message seeking details about the program and its tone. Graduations are typically jubilant and carefree affairs, but the events of Feb. 14 hang heavy over the graduating class.

"It's not going to be easy for any of us," said Demitri Hoth, 18, a Stoneman Douglas senior. "We have to celebrate our success and our achievements through high school. But at the same time, we have to commemorate and pay tribute to the seniors and all the others who are not with us. It's a balancing act."

The school also invited relatives of the three educators killed on Valentine's Day — geography teacher Scott Beigel, assistant football coach Aaron Feis and athletic director Chris Hixon.

Linda Beigel Schulman, Scott Beigel's mother, will fly in from her New York home to attend. "I know nothing about the program or what they have planned, but I just want to be there. I want to support the school," Beigel Schulman said this week. She said the Stoneman Douglas and Parkland communities have embraced her family since February, particularly her son's students and his colleagues in the geography department.

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As they prepare to graduate on Sunday, the Parkland seniors are grieving over the loss of friends while navigating tough decisions about the future. The aunt of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting victim attended a walkout Wednesday at the Parkland, Florida, high school where her niece

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Graduation AP Government teacher and graduation Grand Marshall Jeff Foster is pictured with Emma Gonzalez and Chris “Today you’re graduating from high school,” he said, according to videos posted to social media and shared with CNN. “You should feel incredibly

"I know Scott would be proud of his students who are graduating," Beigel Schulman said. "He would be there if he was still here, so we're going to be there in his place."

Debbi Hixon, Chris Hixon's widow, will be out of town on Sunday and won't attend the graduation. Melissa Feis, Aaron Feis' widow, also will be out of town.

Debbi Hixon is an educator and administrator in charge of the magnet program at South Broward High School in Hollywood. She said she would feel out of place at the Stoneman Douglas graduation. "Chris would have been there, behind the scenes, helping out with security, but there's no need for me to go," Hixon said. "The kids are going to be sad already, and seeing us might make them even sadder. It's supposed to be their day."

Hoth said he respects whatever decision victims' families make. "For those that come, we'll stand with them and give them all our support," he said. "And for those that don't, we'll send our love and hopes for their healing."

In some respects, the final school days for the Stoneman Douglas Class of 2018 were similar to those of thousands of other graduating seniors across South Florida. The seniors finished classes last month and picked up their caps and gowns last week. Hoth said students were limited to a maximum of six tickets, same as previous years. There will be graduation parties, then family trips. Some will work summer jobs before heading off to college.

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High is a heavily monitored cage. Stoneman Douglas has a tight-knit, yet welcoming community. The teachers are good and most can teach quite well. After the event that occurred, there have been security measures that have been implemented, but there needs to be

Like many Stoneman Douglas juniors, Jack did not take the SAT this month. Meanwhile, he's juggling studying for the ACT and four AP exams while building the nonprofit, Students for He was driving a van full of other Stoneman Douglas activists from New York to Boston for a forum on student activism.

But things will always be different for these students. Some have become household names with armies of Twitter and Instagram followers after the activism of March for Our Lives and Never Again. Some will continue fighting for gun control and political change through the midterm elections and beyond. And some will never be able to sleep without nightmares or hear fireworks without flinching again.

"What happened on Feb. 14 redefined what this school is and rewrote the memories that we have as seniors," Hoth said. He said he still regards the school as a great and special place. "When someone asks, 'What's the takeaway from high school: Is it the incident or everything before it?' It's a mix."

One needs only to leaf through the 2018 Stoneman Douglas yearbook, titled "As One," to get a sense of the emotional whiplash. The year-in-review section unfolds chronologically, starting with a page titled "Summer Fun" before moving to "Irmageddon" (a recap of Hurricane Irma) and then to the Pig Bowl, Halloween, a production of "Fiddler on the Roof," college applications and Spirit Week.

And then comes Valentine's Day, a page devoted to the heart, flower and love-filled hours before the shooting. There, on page 113, is a photo of smiling senior Emma Gonzalez, sitting with sophomore Kara Newman, issuing "proclamations of love" from a lunchroom table set up by the school's Gay-Straight Alliance. "People would write their name, and the name of the person who they love," Gonzalez says in the yearbook caption. "The table was set up to promote love."

It is chilling to look at that photo knowing what happens a few hours later. It is chilling to flip to page 114, titled "Never Again," with a nighttime photo of police and emergency vehicles rimming the perimeter of the school after the massacre. And it is heartbreaking to go through the pages that follow, titled "Victim Vigils," "Memorial Tattoos," "Hugs and Healing," along with tribute pages devoted to each of the 17 victims and an ad near the back placed by Dance Theatre of Parkland with a photo of a leaping Jaime Guttenberg that says, "Fly with the angels Jaime." Guttenberg, 14, a Stoneman Douglas freshman killed on Feb. 14, was a member of Dance Theatre's Extreme Team.

Her classmates, the Class of 2021, have three more years until their graduation day. The Class of 2018 gets to move on sooner.

"As much as you try to forget, we'll never be able to," Hoth said. "None of us will ever be OK."

———

(Ben Crandell contributed to this report.)

Tonys: Parkland Students Perform "Seasons of Love" .
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama teacher Melody Herzfeld was honored with the excellence in theater education award as the Broadway ceremony took time to remember the tragic Florida shooting from February.Ming-Na Wen presented Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama teacher Melody Herzfeld with the excellence in theater education award during the ceremony. Following the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, Herzfeld has encouraged her students to use theater and music to express how the tragedy impacted them.

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