Feb 14, 2024 - News

Last Parkland shooting anniversary before building's demolition

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be demolished this summer.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Photo: Getty

Wednesday marks six years since the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead. And while the building where they were killed is still standing, this anniversary will be its last.

Why it matters: For many in the Parkland, the demolition is a way to find closure by eliminating a lingering reminder of the city's darkest day.

Between the lines: The building was preserved for years because of gunman Nikolas Cruz's trial, and then because the defense team of Scot Peterson, the former resource officer accused of failing to confront Cruz, requested it remain intact.

What they're saying: Ivy Schamis, a teacher at the school at the time, told the Sun Sentinel that driving or walking past the building is traumatizing.

  • "Everyone wants it torn down so we can move on."

The other side: Some parents believe the building offers a continuous lesson about school safety and should remain standing.

  • Fred Guttenberg, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Jaime and has become a well-known gun safety advocate, told the Sun Sentinel the building "still serves a meaningful purpose."
  • It will have served its full purpose, he said, "when all schools are safe."

Of note: The Broward County School District has yet to finalize plans for the land, but a memorial is expected to be built on a 150-acre preserve that borders Coral Springs and Parkland, according to the Miami Herald.


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