Parkland Parents Make a Statement

FAMU Concert Chor Caption: "2 Young Women from
FAMU Concert Choir singing "Over The Rainbow" 
Photo credit: Lauren Coleman 

Parents of the Parkland community came to Tallahassee over a three-day period to sit through hours of legislation from the House and Senate. It was important to the parents that the students’ voices were heard about their push for gun control.

As each name was said, the sound of a bell and moment of silence was given to each of the victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Shooting. One week after 100 students from Stoneman Douglas came to the capital and demanded action on gun control, the parents of the community came to do the same.

“We were conveying our points in how we wish to see change in our government, in our laws. We did the hard part today but we wanted to end with memorializing our kids in your community,” said Renee Schafer, a mother and community member.

At the end of their visit, Parkland parents held a vigil to let lawmakers know the importance of why they came to the capital. The vigil was held by Shelbie Seys, a mother within the community.

The vigil was held at Waller Park behind the Capitol with a total of 40 Parkland parents. Seys and other members of the Tallahassee community came together to remember the 14 students and 3 staff members that lost their life in this tragedy.

The vigil had song performances from the FAMU Concert Choir and words from the Parkland community.

Two young women from the FAMU Concert Choir sang “Over the Rainbow” a song that is important to those who traveled to Tallahassee after seeing a rainbow during their trip.

"Parents and Tallahassee Residents talking after the vigil"
| Photo credit: Lauren Coleman

Seys said after seeing the rainbow she later received a text message from her son, showing a picture of a rainbow he saw at his school. The coincidence came at a very difficult time and it represented a sign of hope for the affected parents and students .

“The day we left was a special day for us and when we were leaving Parkland. Everywhere we went in Parkland, we saw a rainbow.” said Seys.

The FAMU Concert Choir also sang an original song called “Stand” which lyrics touched on taking a stand against all forms of violence and making a difference.

Seys and other parents formed an initiative called “Kids First, Politics Second” because they are seeing in different policies made by these lawmakers that they aren’t considering kids first.

Pam Miller, a mother and member of “Kids First, Politics Second,” felt the importance of bringing a vigil to Tallahassee was to show that the lives lost were due to someone who was legally able buy a gun at such a young age was capable of causing this tragedy.

“It was important to us that we came to Tallahassee because violence isn’t the answer. Guns are not the answer. We need change,” said Miller.