The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School didn’t ask to be made the agents of change in the fight end the scourge of mass shootings in America. But after the NRA and their Republican lap dogs predictably responded to last month’s massacre in Parkland, Florida, by blaming the tragedy on everything and every one except our nation’s lax gun laws and those who defend them, they’ve taken on their new roll with gusto.
One of the responsibilities that has come as a result of being forced to become the faces of gun control has been dealing with the new levels visibility they’ve taken on, both individually, and as a school.
Today, that responsibility manifested itself in the form of two high profile appearances on campus, one by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the other by Miami Heat basketball legend Dwyane Wade. The two visits could not have gone more differently.
Secretary DeVos was there ostensibly to talk about school safety, but according to at least one student, there was little substance or affection during her brief visit.
“Betsy Devos came to my school, talked to three people, and pet a dog. This is incase the press tries to say something else later,” Allana, a student, tweeted.
Betsy Devos came to my school, talked to three people, and pet a dog. This is incase the press tries to say something else later
— Alanna//#NEVERAGAIN (@AgCI3Cu2) March 7, 2018
A few hours later, however, Dwyane Wade showed up to surprise the students. By all accounts, he was jovial and engaged the whole time, even walking through the crowded cafeteria giving students high-fives.
At one point, he stopped and talked to them, saying “I’ve been amazed from afar, and I just wanted to come and say that I’m inspired by all of you.”
The grateful students cheered.
Wade found himself unexpectedly close to tragedy when one of the victims was buried in a replica of the star player’s basketball jersey. He even took heat from members of the right wing media for speaking out in support of the students.
You can watch cell phone footage of Dwyane Wade’s visit to Stoneman Douglas High School below.
What an amazing lunch period for the students at Stoneman Douglas High School as @DwyaneWade made a surprise visit!
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) March 7, 2018