Letters To Stoneman Douglas: Coping After a Tragedy

Alex Volkerijk, Writer

After the tragic school shooting at Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland Florida, many people did not know how to react. One teacher from the high school, Ms. Wolk-Rogers, sent out a post on social media requesting handwritten letters showing support for the students of Stoneman Douglass. When the students get back to school, the students will be greeted with the letters.

Here at Shawnee, the message was heard loud and clear. The teachers of the English department all informed their students of the request and gave them the opportunity to participate. “When it was presented to me, I thought it was a great opportunity for Shawnee students to be when we’re so bombarded with negative stories, a part of something positive,” said Mr. Latini, an English teacher at Shawnee. “I think there is power in large groups of people sending positive vibes out.”

Ms. Meimbresse of the English department, one of several teachers who discovered the post, had this to say about the letters. “The shooting hit me hard because of all I saw in the faces of the students and the victims, my students, and my colleagues. I kept thinking about if my students, that I see every day, were harmed in any way. I thought about how those teachers must feel trying to help and comfort the students. So I felt helpless and very upset.  This was a way to try to do something, even if it was something small.”

In total, about 200 letters and cards were sent in, all handwritten by Shawnee students.