NewsParkland Shooting


Young Parkland activists continue their movement 4 years later

'It was an event that changed me forever,' says Adam Buchwald, former Stoneman Douglas student
Adam Buchwald, former Parkland student now attending
Posted at 11:30 AM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 11:30:32-05

PARKLAND, Fla. — In the wake of the 2018 Parkland shooting, hundreds of young activists rose up to push for an end to gun violence.

Four years later that movement still has momentum.

Students who were at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at the time of the shooting and part of the ensuing movement have now graduated. Many of them are in college.

What they accomplished will be part of them forever, they say, no matter how involved there are currently.

"It was an event that changed me forever," said Adam Buchwald who was a junior at the time of the shooting. "[It] feels like I've changed as a person."

Buchwald is now a junior at the University of Florida, majoring in business administration.

He's just trying to be a normal kid.

"I'm 20 years old. I just want to move on with my life and try not to think about this event," Buchwald said.

Every time Feb. 14 approaches, he can't help but think back to his high school days.

Parkland shooting

"[It is] definitely an event I'll remember forever," Buchwald said. "I tell a lot of people that I was there. My brother was in the building, just a complete massacre."

Immediately after the shooting at his school, he and his best friend, Zach, created their own movement called Parents Promise to Kids.

They asked for families to sign a contract pledging to vote for politicians who support stricter gun laws.

"Thousands signed those contracts," Buchwald said.

Buchwald was one of many vocal Stoneman Douglas High School students demanding action. Their voices brought change, particularly in Florida, back in 2018.

"Just the fact that gun violence is a top issue for folks. That's something to be proud of because we did that," said Serena Rodrigues, a national coordinator for March for our Lives.

It is a movement organized by former Parkland students.

Serena Rodrigues, national coordinator for March for our Lives
Serena Rodrigues speaks about the ongoing gun violence in America.

Rodrigues said 2018 was a first step, but gun violence continues to be an alarming issue.

"We are in a gun violence crisis, and there's momentum, 100 percent, because young people, especially, we know what's at stake," Rodrigues said.

"I think Zach and I made a huge push, but think there's a lot more that needs to be done to save more lives," Buchwald said.

He is constantly hearing of gun violence across the country.

"Every time I hear of an event, a shooting, children dying, adults dying, it hurts me," Buchwald said. "This issue will never be solved."

Buchwald said he always thinks about his hometown every Feb. 14 as he tries to go about his normal daily routine.

He plans to attend a vigil at the University of Florida with his fellow classmates who attended the school.