Students, survivors of Parkland school shooting lead town hall meeting in North County

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SAN DIEGO — Students and survivors of the Parkland school shooting led a town hall meeting to discuss gun violence prevention Friday night in Carmel Valley.

Aalayah Eastmond and Sarah Coqueline Bentaieb will never forget what happened when a gunmen walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School and opened fire.

“I was on the first floor. In the third classroom that he shot into and he shot six of my classmates and killed two in my class and I had to hide underneath one of my murdered classmate’s body to survive,” Eastmond said.

Seventeen people died in the shooting, including Robert Schentrup’s sister, Carmen.

“The grief and the loss is still very much there. It’s hard because it feels like time only numbs it. It doesn’t necessarily go away,” Schentrup said.

To prevent others from the pain of gun violence, the students  joined Team Enough San Diego at a non-partisan panel discussion to voice their concerns.

“It shouldn’t be politicized. I think that it’s an issue about lives. I think that people from both sides of politics whether it’s Republican or Democrat should come together and find a solution,” Coqueline Bentaieb said.

The students who experienced the effects of gun violence will not give up their fight, they said.

“I know that I’m honoring my sister and the 16 others with action every single day and that helps me cope a lot,” Schentrup said.

Students say they will use the information from Friday’s event to create action items to bring to lawmakers.




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