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Cover image for We say #Never again : reporting by the Parkland student journalists
Title:
We say #Never again : reporting by the Parkland student journalists
ISBN:
9781984849960

9781984849977
Physical Description:
260 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 22 cm.
Reading Level:
1100 L Lexile
Summary:
A journalistic look at the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and the fight for gun control--as told by the student reporters for the school's newspaper and TV station.
Holds:

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Summary

Summary

A journalistic look at the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and the fight for gun control--as told by the student reporters for the school's newspaper and TV station.

This timely and media-driven approach to the Parkland shooting, as reported by teens in the journalism and broadcasting programs and in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas newspaper, is an inside look at that tragic day and the events that followed that only they could tell.

It showcases how the teens have become media savvy and the skills they have learned and honed--harnessing social media, speaking to the press, and writing effective op-eds. Students will also share specific insight into what it has been like being approached by the press and how that has informed the way they interview their own subjects.

"One thing is clear: The Parkland students are smart, media savvy, and here to fight for common sense gun laws." -- Hello Giggles


Author Notes

Melissa Falkowski is the journalism teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and Eric Garner is the broadcasting teacher. After the tragic February day in Parkland, they knew that the voices of their students needed to be heard. WE SAY #NEVER AGAIN is their story--written by the journalism students and creators of the school newspaper, The Eagle Eye and the staff at WMSD-TV .


Reviews 6

Publisher's Weekly Review

Falkowski and Garner, teachers of journalism and broadcasting, respectively, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, offer gripping introductions to this compelling anthology of student writing. Falkowski writes an immediate account of the Feb. 2018 events; Garner underscores the duality of the contributors' post-tragedy lives, describing the journalism and broadcasting students whose sense of security was shattered yet who were galvanized to become "on the outside, activists, and on the inside, journalists." Reconciling those roles and advocating for gun legislation reform and school safety are recurring themes. The students also speak about their indignation at being accused of being publicity-seeking "crisis actors" for appearing in media interviews and participating in the March for Our Lives movement. Throughout, the students express appreciation for peers and faculty who exhibited courage during the shootings, and they stress the importance of journalistic integrity. An impressive roundup of eloquent, well-reasoned, and inspiring writing. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

A collection of reporting by the journalism students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on the 2018 shooting at their school. "Extraordinary Acts" pieces highlight heroic survivors; others cover the day of the attack, the March for Our Lives movement, and life in the media spotlight. Edited by MSD teachers Falkowski and Garner, the teens' writings are insightful and moving. Includes an insert of color photos. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* From the aftermath of the February 14, 2018, school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, comes this collection that stands alone as a primary source document. A few pieces from the journalism and broadcasting faculty accompany dozens of short essays and photographs by student journalists of the Eagle Eye, the high-school newspaper and student broadcasters from WMSD-TV, the school TV station. Frank and sincere, if occasionally repetitive, the student essays capture the raw aftermath of a tragedy from the closest vantage point one can find. They examine the situation from myriad angles; a recent British transplant comes at it as a so-called outsider, while those closest to the heart of the #NeverAgain movement on Twitter examine their newfound celebrity and respond to public critiques. At the same time, it's a document about the inner workings of a high-school newspaper suddenly thrust into a spotlight far beyond what staff writers could ever have imagined. Many of the students wrestle with concerns of journalistic ethics: how to interview and write when they're too close to the subject at hand. A book like this shouldn't have to exist, and yet it does and for that reason alone, it deserves a space in all libraries.--Jennifer Barnes Copyright 2018 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

Reading and Writing Wrongs Two books illuminate social justice issues and could inspire teenagers to make real change. WE ARE NOT YET EQUAL Understanding Our Racial Divide By Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden Read by Robin Miles 6 hours, 42 minutes. Audible Studios. Ages 14 and up. WE SAY #NEVERAGAIN Edited by Melissa Falkowski and Eric Garner Read by Melissa Falkowski, Eric Garner and the Parkland student journalists 5 hours, 20 minutes. Listening Library. Ages 14 and up. it is hard to sitthrough an entire listening of "We Are Not Yet Equal" and leave with hope. The problem is that Carol Anderson's book performs its task so well that the final chapter, in which we are told that the time has come for change, can't help feeling hollow and obligatory. Anderson, a professor of African-American studies at Emory - working with a capable assist from the children's nonfiction writer Tonya Bolden - elaborates on the premise of her previous book "White Rage." There she argued that while the fires and protests that characterized cities like Ferguson and Baltimore in 2014 and 2015 were seen as an explosion of black rage, quite the opposite was true. The murders of unarmed citizens and the subsequent acquittals of police officers charged in their deaths were just the latest expressions of a white rage that had terrorized the entire country since Reconstruction, making victims of blacks and poor whites alike. Such a simple but profound shift of perspective - the changing from an ahistoric lens to a historical one - is where "We Are Not Yet Equal" excels. By meticulously tracing a path from the fateful deals white abolitionists cut with the Confederacy during Reconstruction right up to the contemporary efforts to roll back voter protections as a response to Obama's ascendancy, Anderson paints a dire picture of a country that not only combats equal citizenship for black people, but prioritizes that combat over governmental responsibilities including national security, liberty and democracy. Such an idea seems to defy explanation, but in a chapter that outlines the obsession of Southern lawmakers with preventing - through legislation, arrests and violence - blacks from escaping the slow-motion genocide of the early-20th-century South, Anderson states it clearly: "The bottom line," she writes, "was that black economic independence was anathema to the power structure that depended on cheap, exploitable, rightless labor and required black subordination." Such an analysis marries the angles of race and class that are frequently played against each other by whites on both sides of the political aisle, from Bernie bros to conservative courts that have spent decades looking for a way to deny the full enforcement of Brown v. Board of Education. In writing the majority decision in 1972's San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell declared that school funding disparities created by property taxes were not unconstitutional, despite those disparities tracking faithfully along racial lines. "The Equal Protection Clause does not require absolute equality," Powell famously wrote. By declaring that "insofar as the financing system disadvantages those who reside in comparatively poor school districts, the resulting class cannot be said to be suspect," Powell concluded that the problem was class, not race, despite an enormous disparity in school funding for white students versus minority students in the state. Anderson's book is a story of obsession, of a country's obsession with denying rights to a people. Told in the narrator Robin Miles's studied, authoritative (though sometimes slow) delivery, the audiobook manages to allow, rather than force, the subject's devastating emotional undertone. Miles, who has narrated works by Roxane Gay, bell hooks and N. K. Jemisin, excels at a technically perfect Standard American dialect but interjects just enough slightly sarcastic pauses and subtly acerbic inflections to emphasize the true meaning of the text. in the wake of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., true meaning was much harder to come by. But "We Say #NeverAgain" takes a powerful tack. The book comprises the writings of the school's journalism and broadcasting classes as well as work by the student reporters and editors of the school newspaper, The Eagle Eye. In the wake of the horrific events of Feb. 14, 2018, these kids were staked to a complex intersection of roles, as traumatized victims, subjects in national news stories, activists and journalists at the center of an event that captivated the country. How they worked their way through this while also being teenagers is the subject of these pieces, which are read by the students and two of their teachers, Melissa Falkowski and Eric Garner. Where "We Are Not Yet Equal" provides a wide-lens view of legislation and the inner workings of government, "We Say #NeverAgain" is granular. The students use this platform, built unwillingly out of a horror no child should face, to share on-the-ground perspectives on everything from gun legislation to adolescent depression, the failures of the national media to the individual acts of courage that defined the day of the shooting. Perhaps it is because I am myself a journalist that the parts that had me taking off my headphones and hiding my eyes so that no one would see me tearing up had to do with these kids' almost quixotic clarity about what journalism is actually for. "We owed our school a complete record of the year," Nikhita Nookala states with nearly comic lucidity in her essay "Sweating Under the Spotlight: Recognition and Responsibility." If only it were that simple, one might think. The thrilling stunt pulled off by "We Say # Never Again" is that it is. The pieces here do much more than rehash statements about the press as a defender of democracy. In their direct actions, their certitude and their honesty, the journalism students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas are a case study in what to do when things fall apart. In a particularly potent piece, Nyan Clark reports that the senior Kelly Plaur wrapped her legs around her teacher to help shield her from bullets as they huddled in a corner of the room during the shooting. "I wanted to protect her because I knew she had kids of her own and a husband," Plaur later recalled. "I was thinking, 'What if this was my mom?' " The class she was in was studying the history of the Holocaust. Elsewhere, the student journalist Rebecca Schneid despaired to learn that within days of surviving a school shooting, she was being called a fake and an enemy of the people. Yet this did not stop her. "I have decided," she concludes, "to focus on the immense amount of love we have received from around the world to energize me and push me to work even harder toward our goal. The hate would only get in my way, and we have too much to accomplish." Such pluck is childish to be sure, but here childishness is neither naive nor wrongheaded. These young journalists are as aware of the stakes and obstacles of the moment nationally as they are personally. "In many ways speaking out was our form of grieving," Schneid later reveals. "The only time I felt composed in any way was during those interviews." This unambiguity characterizes the book from beginning to end, elevating it above much more studied and complex treatises on this country's perplexing moment. A collective decision was made, for example, to never mention the shooter's name, on the undeniable logic that he "does not deserve more coverage than his victims." One wishes that the adult media could just as easily access this uncomplicated level of moral instinct and understanding. Had we been able to, such a book may well have never been necessary in the first place. "We Are Not Yet Equal" makes clear that this country's collective history is nothing short of heinous. And yet, the extent to which good has ever stood a chance has been the precise extent to which every single individual who has believed in something better has acted in service of that vision. In her final chapter, Carol Anderson tells us it is time to rethink America. But it is the journalism students from Parkland who show us how. CARVELL Wallace has written for The Times Magazine and hosts the Al Jazeera podcast "Closer Than They Appear."


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 UP-This is the story of the Parkland student journalists in the aftermath of the Valentine's Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Chapters alternate between outlining the harrowing events of the day, how the students and staff pulled together to create the next edition of the student newspaper, and moving on to start a national conversation about gun control. Melissa Falkowski, MSD journalism teacher, worked with her student journalists to report on the tragedy. Of note is the fact that the students chose not to mention the shooter's name in their stories, believing he had committed the atrocity for notoriety and wanting to avoid giving him further attention. Later chapters discuss the students' feelings about working with national media and the Parkland March for Our Lives. The book concludes with advice for student journalists and others who have experienced trauma. VERDICT Students interested in journalism or simply learning more about this tragic event will appreciate this audio recording.-Lisa E. Hubler, Charles F. Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OH © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Ruminations from student journalists in the wake of the Feb. 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings.Edited by two MSD teachers who themselves write of their experiences on that day, the short essays focus primarily on the students' ongoing emotional states and general observations about the decidedly mixed treatment they received in the tragedy's aftermath from the press, politicians, and over social media. These are interspersed with tributes to select individuals who performed "Extraordinary Acts" and also with photos that, being nearly all uncaptioned, provide more atmosphere than information. Young grass-roots activists will find no specific reform agenda here, though several contributors do offer savvy general advice. If some of the prose is less than stellar, there are plenty of mature, thoughtful insights to compensate: "We are navigating our way through our grief, which includes guilt," writes Carly Novell. "We can live and remember, but we can't live our lives stuck on February 14." Unlike David and Lauren Hogg's #NeverAgain (2018), this is less a coherent manifesto than a chorus of individual voices feeling pain, describing learning experiences, discovering the heady power of collective actionand expressing determination that, when it comes to real change, "it didn't happen after Columbine in 1999, but it will happen now." Debut author and editor Falkowski adds eloquent arguments for the importance of high school journalism programs and independent student-run school newspapers.Scattershot but cogent and encouraging. (MSD media awards, contributor profiles) (Nonfiction. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Events of February 14 by Melissa Falkowski, MSD journalism teacher February 14, 2018, started almost like any other normal Valentine's Day. In my first two periods, my creative writing students wrote love advice columns and turned famous love poems into "hate" poems--­an activity for the angsty anti-­Valentine's Day students. The day was filled with candy, balloons, stuffed animals, flowers, and a general show of love for each other. In first period, Samantha Fuentes shared chocolate-­covered strawberries from Kilwin's, where she had just started working. At the beginning of second period, we spent fifteen minutes outside for our monthly scheduled fire drill. The rest of the day passed pretty uneventfully--­lunch, study hall, and finally newspaper class. I worked with staffers and editors on our upcoming third-­quarter issue of the newspaper and stories scheduled to post to our website. Class and the school day were almost over. Then, at 2:21 p.m. the fire alarm sounds. The class stops what they're doing and looks to me for directions. It's not normal for the fire alarm to sound twice in one day, but not totally out of the question, especially if culinary is cooking. "We gotta go, guys. Get your stuff," I tell them. Some of them grumble, and some of them roll their eyes. We are annoyed and inconvenienced. Haven't we already done this today? I grab my cell phone and my keys, grab my emergency folder, and stand at the door counting how many students leave the room--­twenty-­five total, the entire class listed on my fourth-­period roster. I want to make sure that I have them all when I get to my assigned evacuation zone. I close my already locked door and turn left, heading the fifteen feet to the double doors that will take me to the outside hallway. The outside stairwell is crowded. I see one of our campus security monitors. I ask her what's going on. "Someone set off firecrackers in the 1200 building," she tells me. "Okay. Idiots," I tell her as I roll my eyes. I turn to two other teachers to tell them. The campus monitor calls to me. "Go back. Code Red! Code Red!" The other teachers and I call out to the students in the hallway and the stairwell to turn around and go back. I pivot and walk quickly back to my room. As I open my door, I hear an administrator's voice come over the intercom. "Code Red," he says. I'm the first teacher back to my hallway. I'm holding the door open as students file in. I'm yelling to kids in the hallway, "Get inside! Right now! Go anywhere. It doesn't matter where you are supposed to be." They look confused. Colleagues are starting to return to their classrooms and open up. One of them calls down to me and asks what's going on. "It's a Code Red!" I yell to her. "Are you serious?" she asks. "Yes!" Two out-­of-­breath students appear on my side of the hallway. I tell them to come inside. Students at the other end of the hallway are filing into classrooms. I decide to close my door. I already feel like I've held it open for too long. When I turn and close the door behind me, I see all my students huddled into a corner of the room. They are in the exact place we discussed a month ago after staff training about active shooter situations. I returned from the training and mapped out an area of the room that I could make invisible from the door's window by covering it halfway with paper. I move into the corner, pull out the attendance roster from my emergency folder, and start calling names. In total I have nineteen students with me--­two who are not mine, and seventeen of my newspaper students. I'm missing eight students. As I get to the names of missing students on the roster, I tell the other students to text them and find out where they are. They are located quickly; they're in the classroom beneath us in a closet. All eight of them are together. When they reached the bottom of the stairwell, another teacher pulled them inside. I write down the names of the two extra students with me. Their classroom is across campus. I find out later that as their class evacuated for the fire alarm, they were told to just run. Their building is directly across from the 1200 building. They heard shots, but they say nothing about it to me or my students at the time. One of my students asks me, "Mrs. Falkowski, are you going to turn off the lights?" I forgot to turn off the lights. "Of course," I tell her. I get up, turn off the lights in my room, and walk into my adjacent computer lab and turn those off, too. For the few seconds when I'm in the computer lab, I almost lose my composure. I'm shaking, and I can feel the tears coming. I take a deep breath and go back to the corner in the larger room. It's 2:28 p.m. One student is already in the closet. She went straight there when she arrived in the room. I text my husband. "We are in a Code Red. I'm locked in my room. With kids. I'm okay and I love you." I text my husband again. "I don't know what's happening. It could be the drill they said they were going to do this semester. But I don't see why they would do it at 2:30." Now we can hear helicopters and sirens. I google Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The first link says, "Shots Fired." I make the decision to move everyone into the closet. I pull out a cart and some things that are taking up room. I call the students over a few at a time. I tell them just to bring themselves and their phones--­no backpacks. Just people, not things. I grab my phone charger from behind my desk, and we close up the closet. The lights are off. It's dark, hot, and crowded. We have to stand shoulder to shoulder for everyone to fit. A few students are crying in the back. I use my phone's flashlight to illuminate the closet. I'm telling the kids over and over that everything is okay. We are together and everything is going to be okay. Excerpted from We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists by Parkland Student Journalists All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


Table of Contents

Melissa FalkowskiMelissa FalkowskiEric GarnerDelaney TarrNikhita NookalaRebecca SchneidCarly NovellLewis MizenRebecca SchneidSuzanna BarnaDelaney TarrChristy MaDaniela InfantinoRyan DeitschRichard DoanRebecca SchneidDelaney TarrJosh RiemerDara RosenAugustus Griffith Jr.Andy PedrozaKevin TrejosNikhita NookalaCarly NovellChristy MaAugustus Griffith Jr. and Sam GrizeljSuzanna BarnaZakari KostzerChris CahillDelaney TarrSuzanna BarnaLewis MizenNikhita NookalaDavid HoggTyra HemansLeni SteinhardtDaniel CuervoDavid HoggMelissa Falkowski
Introduction
The Events of February 14p. 1
Getting to Work on the Newspaperp. 10
Finding the Lightp. 14
Part 1 Activism
Pushed into the Spotlightp. 21
Sweating Under the Spotlight: Recognition and Responsibilityp. 25
The Role of a Journalist: Exposing the Epidemic of Gun Violencep. 30
Extraordinary Acts
Senior Brandon Huff Tries to Run into Freshman Building to Save His Girlfriendp. 34
Guide from a Journalist on the Other Side: The Dos and Don'ts for Journalists Covering Tragediesp. 37
An Outsider's Perspectivep. 42
From Victims to Villainsp. 47
Extraordinary Acts
Freshman Chris McKenna Comes into Contact with Gunman Minutes Before Shootingp. 52
Managing Your Own Bias in Reportingp. 54
Speaking Out for Those Who Can'tp. 58
Not Just a Walk to the Park: Covering Civil Disobediencep. 62
Extraordinary Acts
Senior Kelly Plaur Protects Her Teacher from Gunfirep. 66
Tweeting for Change: An Interview with Carlitos Rodriguezp. 69
Holding Politicians to Accountp. 75
Shining a Light on Gun Violence: Diverse Perspectivesp. 80
Extraordinary Acts
Psychology Teacher Ronit Reoven Provides First Aid to Injured Studentsp. 89
Coping with Trauma While Keeping Emotions in Checkp. 92
From Parkland to Pennsylvania Avenue: Putting Together a National Movementp. 99
Extraordinary Acts
Junior Lorenzo Prado Is Falsely Identified as a Suspect in Shootingp. 104
Photographing Revolution: The Parkland Marchp. 108
Team Reporting
The March For Our Lives, D.C.-Covering History in the Makingp. 112
Extraordinary Acts
JROTC Students Help Shield Others Behind Kevlar Sheets Inside Classroomp. 128
Interviewing Bernie Sandersp. 130
Part 2 MSD Strong
Trappedp. 137
A Nightmare Invades My Realityp. 144
Extraordinary Acts
Freshman Jason Snytte Saved His Classmates by Shutting His Class Doorp. 151
Through New Eyes: From Student to Photojournalistp. 153
Eulogizing Friends and Covering Tragedyp. 157
Balancing Guilt with Opportunitiesp. 161
Extraordinary Acts
Culinary Arts Teacher Ashley Kurth Pulls Students Fleeing Freshman Building into Safetyp. 165
The Evolution of the Eagle Eye Websitep. 168
The Parkland March For Our Lives: Two Perspectivesp. 171
Extraordinary Acts
Ernie Rospierski, Social Studies Teacher, Shields Students from Shooterp. 176
Healing Through Journalismp. 179
What It's Like to Work with Mass Mediap. 183
Using Work on the Documentary as an Escapep. 186
Part 3 What Comes Next
Starting a Grassroots Movement: A Quick Guidep. 195
Extraordinary Acts
Sgt. Jeff Heinrich, Off-Duty Officer, Saves Student and Secures Buildingp. 198
Becoming an Activist in Your Schoolp. 201
A Guide to Reaching Out and Speaking to Politiciansp. 205
Controlling the Interview: How to Avoid Saying Something You Don't Believep. 208
Leveraging Social Mediap. 212
Extraordinary Acts
Charlie Rothkopf and Victoria Proietto Save Fellow Student During Shootingp. 219
Speaking from the Heartp. 222
Self-Care: Managing Your Traumap. 230
Day to Day: What Will the Future Bring?p. 234
The Road to Changep. 237
Independent Student-Run Newsrooms: An Imperative for High Schools Nationwidep. 243
Honoring Our Fallen Eaglesp. 247
MSD Media Awards and Accoladesp. 249
Meet the Contributorsp. 253
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