How Parkland shooting survivors transformed into gun control activists

A memorial is set up at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, February 14, 2021. Photo credit: InStar/Cover Images via Reuters Connect

On Valentine’s Day 2018, 17 students and staff were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, students who were directly affected spoke out. Many of the survivors became gun control advocates and founded the March for Our Lives movement.

Peabody award winning documentarian Kim A. Snyder’s new film “Us Kids” follows Parklank survivors, including Sam Fuentes, as they recover from their injuries, process their grief, and try to prevent future school shootings.

During the shooting, Fuentes was shot in the legs, and was wounded by shrapnel in her face. She says at first, she didn’t want to acknowledge what had happened to her, then eventually tried to dissociate herself from the tragedy entirely.

“Many times I felt almost like a character in a larger story instead of a victim of this terrible atrocity. And I think it was just because it was easier for me to process, because then it wasn’t my trauma, right? It was someone else’s trauma,” Fuentes tells KCRW.