As teenagers across the US march against gun violence in support of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the school’s faculty are offering their own assessment of the government’s reaction.
In a video for Cosmopolitan.com, three members of the Parkland high school’s staff responded to the gun laws that have been proposed since the shooting that took place exactly one month ago, and saw 17 people killed – namely, the idea that teachers should be carrying guns.
Diana Perri-Haneski, a librarian at the school, explained: ‘I don’t believe that arming teachers is the solution.’
Speaking out: Faculty members from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School speak out against the proposed gun laws in a new video for Cosmopolitan.com
Solidarity: Teacher Melissa Falkowski explains that she doesn’t see how arming teachers ‘would have helped in this scenario’
‘I just don’t see how it would have helped in this scenario. I don’t see how it would have helped in any scenario. I think it puts more teachers’ lives on the line,’ added teacher Melissa Falkowski.
Amy Kenny, a physical education teacher at the school, blasted the idea of arming teachers, saying that ‘the failure is above our local level.’
‘Teachers teach. And now you want us to be a local law enforcement agent too?’ she continued. ‘I’m a yoga teacher. Where am I packing my gun? In my yoga pants? I don’t think so. Am I leaving it on the corner of my mat?’
The teachers then moved on to the problem of mental health, saying that there is a lot that could be done, such as stricter laws against domestic abusers and giving police the power to remove weapons from those who are deemed to be a threat.
Questions: Amy Kenny, a physical education teacher at the school, questions where she would be keeping her gun – ‘in my yoga pants? I don’t think so.’
Taking note: The teachers encourage politicians to remember that they ‘work for the people’
The teachers went on to blast the government for not listening to constituents and forgetting that they ‘work for the people,’ adding about the teens on the march: ‘These young adults are going to be voters soon.’
‘Emma [Gonzalez] has more followers on Twitter than the NRA. So right there, that should tell you that there is going to be more votes going in a certain area that is going to help make change in gun laws.’
The teachers’ video comes soon after another clip related to the shooting, this time coming from the students themselves, satirizing the NRA with a parody commercial.
On March 4, the NRA released a minute-long video starring spokesperson Dana Loesch, in which she criticizes everyone from politicians to the media to professional athletes for their stances on gun legislation.
Soon after, several teens from Parkland created their own ad, copying Dana’s style while slamming everything she stands for — and their version, starring 16-year-old Sarah Chadwick, has been liked more than three times more than the original.
Satire: 16-year-old Parkland shooting survivor Sarah Chadwick stars in a new spoof video (left) created by a group of the school’s students to parody one shared by the NRA (right)
Speaking out: ‘We’ve had enough of the lies. The sanctimony. The ignorance,’ Sarah begins the clip, repeating many of Dana’s own words with a few additions and tweaks of her own
Two days after the NRA’s ad was released, several students who lived through the massacre in Florida released their own version on Twitter, parodying Dana’s style and language to get their own message across.
In the clip, student activist Sarah stands next to an hourglass, like Dana did in her video. She wears a March for Our Lives sweater, promoting the planned protest set to take place in Washington, D.C. on March 24.
‘We’ve had enough of the lies. The sanctimony. The ignorance,’ she begins, repeating many of Dana’s own words with a few additions and tweaks of her own.
‘The hatred, the pettiness, the NRA. We are done with your agenda to undermine the safety of our nation’s youth and the individual voices of the American people,’ she goes on.
‘So to every government official unwilling to take action and make change, to everyone with an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. To every spokeswoman with an hourglass, who uses free speech to alter and undermine what our flag represents…
‘To the politicians who would rather America’s youth die than get assault weapon’s off the shelves, to the manipulative lobbyists who think their political stances should be the only ones supported by legislation…
Joke’s on them: The original video starred Dana Loesch, who calls out several groups of people that have promoted gun control measures
Opposing views: In the new clip, Sarah copies Dana’s video but calls out people and groups who work against all gun control measures, instead of those who support them
Take that: Sarah mocked Dana in a tweet responding to the video
‘To those who refuse to accept common stance gun safety as a bipartisan issue, to those who call high school students paid crisis actors and refuse to listen…
‘Your time is running out. The clock starts now,’ she says, flipping over her hourglass.
The ad closely mimicked the original commercial, which aired during the Oscars and was also shared on Twitter.
In that one, Dana stands in front of a plain black background and also has an hourglass next to her. She speaks to the camera, calling out political opponents in steady, pointed lecture.
‘We’ve had enough of the lies. The sanctimony. The arrogance,’ she said. ‘The hatred, the pettiness, the fake news. We are done with your agenda to undermine voters’ will and individual liberty in America.
Team: Several survivors, including Emma González, worked on the video
Safety: Diego Pfeiffer, another survivor, was also involved in the clip, which called out the NRA
Budget: Adam Alhanti said they didn’t spend any money making the video
Crew: The group came together to criticize ‘every government official unwilling to take action and make change’ and ‘everyone with an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association’
‘So to every lying member of the media, to every Hollywood phony, to the role model athletes who use their free speech to alter and undermine what our flag represents…
‘To the politicians who would rather watch America burn than lose one ounce of their own personal power, to the late night hosts who think their opinions are the only opinions that matter…
‘To the Julianne Reeds, the Morning Joes, the Mikas, to those who stain honest reporting with partisanship. To those who bring bias and propaganda to CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times…
‘Your time is running out. The clock starts now,’ she concludes, turning over the hourglass next to her.
Support: The teen activists’ video has been liked more than 65,000 times and has support from Rosie O’Donnell
Familiar? A few commenters jokingly compared Dana to the Wicket Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz
Making change: Several students, including Emma (pictured) have become leaders of the movement
While the NRA’s video earned almost 20,000 likes on Twitter, Sarah’s post has been liked over 65,000 times so far — and the number is still growing.
‘I told you we have our own hourglass too,’ the teen wrote in a tweet to Dana.
Several of her classmates chimed in too. In a behind-the-scenes clip, at least four other people can be seen in the room with Sarah during production of the video.
Adam Alhanti, one of the student crew members, wrote that the video cost them $0 to make — presumably much less than the NRA’s version.
Emma González, who has earned international attention for a speech she made following the shooting, noted that she was the boom operator, and Diego Pfeiffer tweeted that he was the lighting director.