Freeman High School students reflect on school year and healing process

Freeman High School students reflect on school year and healing process
Freeman High School students pause to remember their classmate during a nationwide school walkout.

No one would blame a student if they wanted to remain quiet in the days, weeks, months or even years following a tragic school shooting. There is no timeline or book written on how to best cope and recover.

In April, Freeman High School students said they have come to learn it’s a balancing act.

“Nobody knows where everyone is at so it’s really hard to gauge where everyone is in the coping they’ve gone through,” said senior Andrew McGill.

For months after the tragic shooting at their high school, they chose silence.

“We’ve overcome so much this year,” McGill said.

That was until the Parkland High School shooting in February, which put gun violence at center stage.

“We are aware that our special experience makes us, you know, really big in the center of all of this,” said junior Christina Morrison.

In March, a small group participated in the National Student Walkout; behind the scenes, student leaders were planning something bigger to mark another walkout happening on the 19th anniversary of Columbine.

“We have a very unique perspective coming from a school that has gone through something that so many schools are fearing right now,” said senior Konner Freudenthal.

They wanted to speak out, come up with a message; but unlike other schools around the nation, not be politically motivated.

“The last thing we want to do this late in the year is divide our school. As leaders in our school, we don’t want anyone in our school to feel like their voice isn’t being heard,” added McGill.

From that, a message of solidarity was formed.

“A message of healing and a message of hope. That we can continue to get through this, we are not going to stop, and continue to be freeman strong,” said senior Jackson Clark.