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Arizona March For Our Lives group to hold vigil one year after Parkland shooting

Posted at 5:41 AM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 09:51:09-05

PHOENIX — It's been one year since the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed, including 14 students and three faculty members.

From that tragedy came the March For Our Lives movement that spread across the country. In the past year, students have marched and spoken out against gun violence.

On the anniversary of the deadly shooting, March For Our Lives Arizona plans to honor those who died that day by hosting a vigil at Madison Meadows Middle School.

MFOL Arizona member Jordan Harb reflects on the first school shooting that really impacted him. It was the day of the Sandy Hook School shooting.

"I remember coming home after that and my mom, specifically taking me aside and telling me that she's really glad that I'm still here and that I'm still alive," Harb recalls.

Six years later, tragedy would strike again, this time at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Harb had had enough, saying it "motivated me. As soon as I saw those other kids speaking out, to go and do something in my own community."

MFOL membership continues to grow across the country and right here in Arizona.

"Over the summer we expanded into over a thousand members across every single congressional district. We've registered 3,500 students to vote and we recently brought together students from every part of the state to come up with our own policy platform," Harb adds.

Students and organizers have come up with a bill that will require school boards to create a plan for identifying students who are having mental health issues.

Nathan Simmons, a high school student and MFOL AZ member says, "We've actually received amazing support from both parties and that's something we're really proud of and really excited to see."

So with equal Republican and Democrat co-sponsors, they are hoping something will change and that they'll leave things better for children in the future.

"If we can just invest in the classroom and invest in the kids, then my brother might be able to go to school in a safe environment that's supportive of him," Harb says.

The vigil at Madison Meadows Middle School runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is open to the public.