SAN DIEGO -- Thousands of students around San Diego County walked out their classes on Wednesday morning, in response to the mass shooting at the Florida high school on Valentine’s Day. For one family who moved to San Diego from Parkland, Florida one year ago, the walkout hit in the very core of their home.
“I love you so much. I’m safe,” read Lauren George.
Sitting in the safety and comfort of her Carmel Valley home, George read the texts on her phone to Fox 5.
“Is Alyssa ok? I just saw Francesca’s post,” said George. “No idea. She was shot and rumors go from there.”
Lauren could hardly believe the messages she was reading. These were text messages she received a month ago, as a gunman hunted down her friends hunkered down in classrooms at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“The room I would have been in was the room and same hallway where the shooting started,” read Lauren.
The text message was from a girlfriend who escaped the carnage only because she wasn’t feeling well.
“She goes, Lauren I left like an hour before the shooting I’m so lucky,” said Lauren.
While one friend escaped, other witnessed horrors only seen in movies. One friend was forced to jump over dead bodies, while another sat in silence hoping the gunman would pass her classroom. The horrors happening as Lauren sat speechless a coast away.
“I was just looking at my phone thinking what am I supposed to do how do I tell my friends to get off their phones and pray,” said Lauren.
One of Lauren’s closest friends went missing.
“Some say she was alive, others said they saw her dead,” read Lauren.
The friend Alyssa, was one of the 17 killed, it was Lauren’s mother who had the task of breaking the news to her daughter.
“I just hugged her and it just hit me so hard that I was still able to hug my child and Laurie would never,” said Erin.
“I didn’t process it, it just kind of went through my ears didn’t really hit me,” said Lauren.
“I can believe this happened to her. She didn’t deserve it,” read Lauren.
So, in memory of Alyssa and her friends in Florida, Lauren took her story to students at Canyon Crest High Wednesday. She told her fellow students this story as they walk out for victims of the mass shooting.
Together they took steps for a safe school, but an even safer tomorrow by asking for stricter gun control.
“You know taking action even just as a walkout is a very small step towards a greater thing,” said Lauren.