Parkland students call suicide deaths of classmates ‘another failure by America’

Current and former Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school students are speaking out about the mental health services they received after a mass shooting in the wake of some fellow students’ recent suicide deaths. 

Kyra Parrow, who was a senior when a gunman killed 17 students at the school in Parkland Fla., tweeted on Sunday that the suicides represented another “failure” from America. 

“After [experiencing] the deadliest high school mass shooting in American history & forced to attend to the same campus two weeks later,” she said. “I remember at one point I couldn’t bare to write my paper. I went to my teacher – she proceeds to tell me to put my grief in a box to complete it.

“This is an accurate description of how all survivors & students were treated by msd & Parkland. Expected to brush aside our grief and deep mental wounds,” she wrote.

{mosads}Multiple students opened up to BuzzFeed News about their experiences with grief in the weeks after the 2018 shooting. 

“We were expected to move on so fast,” Lex Michael, an 18-year-old alum, told the news outlet. Michael added on Twitter that students’ trauma was “brushed aside” out of a desire to return to normal. 

“A lot of us didn’t get the care we needed and this is their last resort,” Eden Herbron, a 16-year-old sophomore, told BuzzFeed News. 

“We need real help. No more half-assed effort for full blown trauma and depression,” Victoria Gonzalez, an 18-year-old student, tweeted. 

Two students who survived the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas died by suicide last week. A 17-year-old sophomore who Buzzfeed reported was at the school on the day of the shooting died on Saturday. The student has not been identified.

Sydney Aiello, 19, died by suicide earlier in the week. Her mother, Cara Aiello, told CBS News that Sydney struggled with trauma and that she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Authorities and family members have not given reasons behind the sophomore’s death.

When asked about students’ comments, a spokesperson for Broward County Public Schools showed BuzzFeed News a full list of the recovery efforts that the district made in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. 

Among other things, the district staffed more than 25 mental health clinicians in the school zone. Two more guidance counselors were also added to the school. 


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