A Day of Remembrance

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The message spelled out by students’ ribbons, “SPREAD LOVE,” is a public display of remembrance for the victims of the MSD tragedy.

Ricardo Rios, Staff Writer

It’s been two years since the terrible tragedy that took place at Stoneman Douglas High School, that left the nation shook in fear.

It was a day when one student walked into his school and caused so much irreparable destruction,  that the day is ingrained into the heads of students, teachers, and parents alike.

SGA has made it a tradition to remember those who were lost on that day. Students from Santaluces went up, class by class, with each student tying a ribbon to the fence in front of Santaluces. The message read “Spread Love”.

Students also decorated rocks during lunch with words of kindness. The rocks that the students decorated were placed in John Prince Park.

The main hallway has 17 decorated lockers, which are themed around the personalities of the 17 lives lost two years ago.

 

The sponsor of SGA, Ms. Matuella, stressed the importance of holding this ceremony here at Sanataluces, “Tying the ribbons is a good opportunity for students to reflect and pay their respects to the victims. I believe that putting “SPREAD LOVE” on our fence serves as a reminder to our community to continue spreading love to combat the darkness in our world.”

One teacher on campus, Mr. Gray, took the opportunity to talk to his students in an impromptu group therapy session, in which students were able to discuss their views on the tragedy and address the stigma of mental health. “It was a temperature check,” he said, “to make sure that we continue these conversations related to school shootings and making sure students feel safe in the classroom and that they know they have a space to reflect and think about these things.”

Some students made remarks on the school’s administration and lack of effort being put forth for mental health after the tragedy. Mr. Gray commented saying “We have school counselors now, we have a protocol for students that need help, the problem is that the system is overwhelmed; for a school our size we should have several counselors.” Santaluces is a relatively large school, boasting 2,525 students, compared to other schools in the area like Boynton Beach High School with a student population of 1,490, with that many students it makes it very difficult for counselors to attend to every student’s needs.

One school-wide initiative that the state of Florida has implemented in the hopes of educating students on mental health is the “Suite 360” program. A program is aimed to educate kids k-12 about mental health. “It talks about depression and the red flags you don’t expect.” stated Mr. Gray.

“Every student here should have a group they feel connected to, whether it be a sport, a club, a class, an academy they’re in, a teacher they’re connected to, or even just their friend group. There should be something here for everyone, we’re a big enough school so that no matter what your personality is, what your interests are, how diverse you think you are, there’s gonna be a group here for you. We need to find ways for students to feel connected.” said Mr. Gray.

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