A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida forever changed the lives of students there, but many triumphantly walked across the stage for high school graduation on Sunday. That included Emma Gonzalez, The Advocate's Hall of Fame honoree for 2018, and David Hogg, who have since become prominent voices for gun reform through March for Our Lives. The activists announced details of more activism today, with a new bus tour, but this weekend was about celebrating their scholastic achievements.
Patricia Oliver's son Joaquin was supposed to graduate Sunday, and as the grieving mother accepted his diploma her shirt reminded the work of that fact. Joaquin was among 17 killed in the February 14 shooting at the school, and his parents have since become strong advocates for gun reform, launching Change the Ref to promote change.
MSDHS graduate David Hogg, now one of the most prominent activists in the March for Our Lives movement, wore an orange tag with $1.05. That's a number calculated by dividing the amount of money the National Rifle Association donated to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by the number of students in Florida schools. In other words, the cost of each student life put at risk.
AP Government teacher Jeff Foster, a mentor to Parkland activists, poses with new MSDHS grads Chris Grady and Emma Gonzalez.
David Hogg poses with teacher Jeff Foster, a mentor to many March for Our Lives activists.
March for Our Lives activists Emma Gonzalez and Chris Grady pose in a picture included in a collage that features Grady's graduation cap and degree.
Mother April Schentrup shared a picture of her daughter Carmen, a close friend of Emma Gonzalez. MSDHS left four seats open at graduation and gave diplomas to families of the four graduating seniors killed in the February 14 shooting.
Dawn Young McDaniel shared a photo collage of the four graduating seniors killed at the February 14 shooting at MSDHS.
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow died in the February 14 shooting, has become a Republican voice for school safety, lobbying for a bill in Florida to harden schools and increase the age to but an AR-15 like that used in the attack. He shared this photo of the family members, including Meadow's brother Hunter and boyfriend Brandon, who accepted her diploma on Sunday.
Broward County athletic department leadership shared this picture of the MSD graduation ceremony.
Guest speaker Jimmy Fallon surprised graduates at MSDHS for the event.
Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie shared this image of MSDHS graduate Emma Gonzalez. The bisexual Latina activist also was named to The Advocate's Hall of Fame this year for her advocacy for gun control.
Students performed the original song "Shine" at the MSDHS graduation.