Eleven percent of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s student body is reportedly black, but it’s almost impossible to know that by the media’s constant coverage of the school and its 3,000 student population in the wake of the mass shooting that occurred in Feb. 2018.
Since the shooting, a number of students have been the faces of the movement to cause gun reform, but the media and supporters have unfortunately left out the voices and perspectives of people of color. Now black and brown students from Stoneman are speaking out and demanding that their voices be heard too.
Black students reportedly gathered in Parkland on Wednesday (Mar. 29), to discuss their sentiments about gun control and the media’s coverage of the shooting. Many said thy felt underrepresented and overlooked, according to The Miami Herald.
Tyah-Amoy a Marjorie Stoneman Douglas student said conversations about gun violence have to include police violence. She asked, the same people who showed up for #MarchForOurLives–will they show up for #StephonClark? #AltonSterling? #SandraBland? pic.twitter.com/QIhvy9gYHD
— Nadege Green (@NadegeGreen) March 28, 2018
Kai Koerber, a 17-year-old student who witnessed his classmates being slain on that dreadful day, suggests black students may have to deal with the enormous burden of being cautious of mass shooters and police. Koerber claims he fears that police will racially profile students and treat them as “potential criminals.” “It’s bad enough we have to return with clear backpacks,” he said. “Should we also return with our hands up?”
Rev. Rosalind Osgood, a Broward County school board member, explained how Koerber’s fears are valid and why they should lead to a larger, intersectional conversation about school shootings and gun control. “I don’t want the minority kids to be angry and feel that they’re being ignored,” she said. “I don’t think anybody’s intentionally excluding them, but nobody’s intentionally including them either.”