Bishop O’Dowd High School students at their school campus on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 in Oakland: (top left clockwise) junior Eli McAmis, 16 ; junior Sofia Odeste, 17 ; senior Kameela Hall, 18 ; junior Alden O’Rafferty, 16 ; freshman Aleki Lozano, 14 and freshman Paulina Harding, 14. Photo: Jessica Christian / The Chronicle
To Bay Area children well-rehearsed on how to react if a heavily armed gunman tries to kill them in class, what happened in Florida seemed — at first — like just another school shooting.
There have been so many, said nine student organizers this past week as they sat around a conference table at their Oakland high school. Why would this one be different? And then, as if someone hit a switch, everything changed.
Teens across the country heard the gunshots and screams recorded on cell phones by students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. They watched survivors their own age take to social media and cable news, delivering elected officials an ultimatum: Either help us stop this or lose your job.