Timeline: How the Never Again movement gained momentum after tragedy

Students lead nationwide effort for stricter laws for gun buyers

By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer
CNN

PARKLAND, Fla. - After about an hour of the the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, President Donald Trump tweeted.  

"My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting," Trump wrote. "No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school."

Sarah Chadwick was still trying to figure out who had died and who was injured at her school when she read the tweet and responded in anger.

"I don't want your condolences, you [expletive] piece of [expletive], my friends and teachers were shot. Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead," she wrote. "Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won't fix this. But gun control will prevent it from happening again."

The survivor was the first student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to publicly challenge a politician to take action on gun legislation. Her brazen tweet went viral and is now seen on T-shirts and signs during events organized by activists from the Never Again movement. 

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the night of the shooting. He held a news conference with Broward Sheriff Scott Israel and Broward Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. In the eyes of some parents, these leaders had failed them. Scott had a high rating from the National Rifle Association, a nonprofit that advocates for gun rights. 

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Feb. 15

A day after the shooting, some of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived the shooting talked to reporters who descended to Parkland in droves. Kelsey Friend, a freshman, said that she heard the shot that killed geography teacher Scott Beigel, after he unlocked his classroom to save her life. 

"If his family is watching this, please know that your son or your brother was an amazing person and I am alive today, because of him," Kelsey said in tears. "Thank you."

Senior David Hogg, whose mom, Rebecca Boldrick, is a Broward County Public Schools teacher, and dad, Kevin Hogg, is a former FBI agent, said he was in class when he told his teacher the "pop" sounds they were hearing were gunshots. They were trying to leave the building when a janitor stopped them from heading in the direction of the shooter. A culinary arts teacher pulled him inside a classroom and he hid in a closet. He and his little sister, who is a freshman at the school, survived the shooting. 

"Students are dying trying to get an education. That's not OK! That's not acceptable! We are children," David said. "You guys are the adults."

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Trump spoke at the White House about the school shooting for about 7 minutes without mentioning gun control. His statement came a few weeks after McClatchy reported that the FBI was investigating if a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin had illegally funneled money to the NRA to help Trump get elected. 

"Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families," Trump said from the diplomatic room. 

Shortly after, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Mike Thompson called on congress to create a committee on gun violence, allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study gun violence and pass expanded background check legislation. 

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

A mother's message to Trump went viral shortly after. Lori Alhadeff was at the Pine Trails Park memorial after learning that her 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, was dead. She decided to talk to reporters. 

"How do we allow a gunman to come into our children's school? How do they go through security? What security is there? There is no metal detectors. The gunman, a crazy person, just walks right into the school, knocks down the window of my child's door and starts shooting. Shooting her and killing her," she said. "President Trump, you say 'What can you do?' You can stop the guns from getting into these children's hands, put metal detectors at every entrance to the schools. What can you do? You can do a lot. This is not fair to our families. That our children go to school, and have to get killed. I just spent the last two hours putting the burial arrangements for my daughter's funeral."

A sea of candles filled  Pine Trails Park during a candle vigil attended by thousands. Fred Guttenberg, a distraught father, stood in front of the crowd to talk about his daughter, Jennifer, who was also among the 17 killed during the Valentine's Day massacre. 

"I don't always get to say I love you," said Guttenberg, who was mourning the death of his 14-year-old daughter, Jennifer Bloom Guttenberg.  "I don't remember if I said that to Jaime yesterday morning."

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Feb. 16

Students attended the funeral of 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff at the Garden of Aaron at Star of David Memorial Gardens. 

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Students attended the funeral of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack at the Jewish congregation of Kol Tikvah. 
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Students continued to visit the memorial at  Pine Trails Park to pray and leave messages and gifts at the 17 crosses set up for the victims and the cross set up for the gunman. 

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Feb. 17

Emma Gonzalez, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, read a 10-minute speech during a gun-control rally in front of the federal court building in Fort Lauderdale.  The 18-year-old senior led the crowd in chants of "No more BS!"

 

Feb. 18

Students attended the funeral of Scott Beigel, a geography teacher from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who was killed while helping students find refuge in his classroom. The service was at Temple Beth-El in Boca Raton. 

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Feb. 19

The funeral service for Alaina Petty was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Coral Springs. The JROTC member 

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

While funerals continued and memorials were growing both at the school and at a nearby park, Tyra Heman, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, stood in front ot the school holding up a sign with the hash tag "Gun Reform Now."

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Feb. 20

On the day of 15-year-old JROTC member Peter Wang's funeral, hundreds of students from West Boca High School walked about 10 miles to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in honor of the 17 victims. Two teenage girls carried a sign. It said, "Protect Kids, Not Guns."

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Feb. 21

On the day of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School athletic director Chris Hixon's funeral, students traveled to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., to protest for the National Rifle Association's influence on legislators and demand a ban on assault weapons. 

Photos by Alex Wong/Getty Images in Washington, D.C., and Don Juan Moore/Getty Images in Tallahassee

Trump held a listening session in the State Dining Room at the White House. Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who was killed in the shooting, had an opportunity to talk next to his two sons. Marjory Stoneman Douglas senior Samuel Zeif begged Trump to "never let this happen again."

""How do we not stop this after Columbine and Sandy Hook?" 

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Marjory Stoneman Douglas students travel to Tallahassee to speak at the Florida State Capitol and to demand gun control legislation.

Photo by Don Juan Moore Getty Images

CNN hosts town hall in Sunrise allowing students, parents and teachers to confront Sen. Marco Rubio and an NRA spokesperson. 

Feb. 22

Students attended the funeral of Marjory Stoneman Douglas' assistant football coach Aaron Feis, who instead of hiding or running away, tried to save as many students as he could before he was killed. 

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Feb. 23

Deerfield Beach High School Students walked about 11 miles to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to show their solidarity, as teachers and staff returned to the school for the first time since the shooting.  

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Feb. 24

The Los Angeles Dodgers honors the victims of the school shooting during a game against the Kansas City Royals.

Photo by Jennffer Steward/Getty Images

Feb. 25

Students are allowed to return to school three days before they have to return to class. The school is surrounded by signs of support from around the country.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Feb. 26

School shooting survivor Maddy Wilford talks to reporters at Broward Health North about her recovery. She thanked Coral Springs Fire Department Lt. Laz Ojeda, who was in tears, for helping to save her life.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Feb. 27

Students and alumni from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School met with Speaker Paul Ryan at his offices in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Feb. 28

Students return to class for the first time since the Valentine's Day massacre.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

March 4

The NRA releases the "Time Is Running Out" video threatening reporters for biased reporting.

“To every lying member of the media, to every Hollywood phony, to the role model athletes who use their free speech to alter and undermine what our flag represents …Your Time is running out," NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch said in the video.  "The clock starts now." 

March 5

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting survivor Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, 17, participates in a discussion about the need for gun control with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schults and Broward County School Board member Rosalind Osgood.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

March 6

Sarah Chadwick, the student who responded to Trump's first tweet about the shooting with disdain, tweets a response spoofing the NRA spokeswoman's threatening video to promote the March for Our Lives. 

"To every spokeswoman with an hourglass who uses free speech to alter and undermine what our flag represents...Your Time is running out. The clock starts now."

 

March 7

Fred Guttenberg, father of murdered Marjory Stoneman Douglas freshman Jamie Guttenberg, speaks during a meeting with U.S. Senate Democrats in the visitors center at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. He was holding an article about the NRA's threatening video.

Photo by Chip Somodeville/Getty Images

March 13

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, Republican from Utah,  hugs Patrick Petty, son of Ryan Petty, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Alaina Petty during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  They were attending a press conference to discuss the STOP School Violence Act in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

March 14

Students from all over the country walk out of class to show solidarity with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students' demands for gun control. 

March 23

Dan Rather hosts a SiriusXM Roundtable Special Event with Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Students and activists Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind (pictured), and Jaclyn Corin at SiriusXM Studio on March 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.

 

Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM

March 24

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