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“They’re not alone on the losses”

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a Parkland memorial with a purpose

Parkland+memorial+drawing+of+the+17+victims%2C+created+by+Freshman+Paris+Perez.
Parkland memorial drawing of the 17 victims, created by Freshman Paris Perez.

Parkland memorial drawing of the 17 victims, created by Freshman Paris Perez.

Parkland memorial drawing of the 17 victims, created by Freshman Paris Perez.

Freshman Paris Perez drew a memorial of the February 14th Parkland shooting victims to share with the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School  a few days after the catastrophe.  Principal Gary Kinninger will soon be sending the original work to Parkland and hanging a copy somewhere in our school as a memorial. When the shooting occurred on her late father’s birthday, Perez said she was moved to do something because of her Christian faith.

“I wanted to do this because I wanted to inspire people, and spread love and hope,” Perez said. “And the fact that this happened on my dad’s birthday, it really hit me, and I felt like ‘what should I do?’ What should I do to make them feel like they’re not alone on this, they’re not alone on the losses and what they’re fighting for.”

Perez did not try to attract attention to the work but still wanted it to be shared with Parkland.

“I only told my friends about it, not so much other people,” Perez said. “But I wanted to take it to the principal so he could submit it to the actual school and so they can feel like there’s someone there that knows their problems: what they’re going through, especially the families of the children.”

She hopes that the work will impact the Parkland students by making “them stay stronger and feel inspired and motivated by the artist who drew it.”

This is Perez’s first year in Cy-Fair ISD, having gone to Aldine ISD and Klein ISD.  Starting in middle school while attending Aldine ISD, she was required with all students to wear a uniform, ID, and have a clear backpack. Perez believes that our school should be taking different precautions to protect students.

“I feel like the school, especially the counselors need to [do] a better job of taking care of the students from bullies and those who battle with mental disabilities,” Paris said. “First of all I am not against mental disability because I have anxiety, but [some shootings are] because of bipolar[ism], and maybe schizophrenia, etc.”

Counselors at Cy Woods can be spoken to any time throughout the day, and students can also participate in a mentor program.

“I would say that counseling the students on their disabilities, that would make me feel safer and would make them safer on the inside,” Perez said.

Her father passed away from chronic heart failure two years ago, but now, after the shooting, Perez is looking forward “to become a doctor in the future to help save lives.”

Perez requests that politicians, especially now, take action to create a safer nation.

“Please do a better job at taking care of people, especially in this country.”

Artist of the Parkland memorial drawing, freshman Paris Perez.

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