Praise for Parkland Kids

Meeting and photographing survivors of the Douglas Stone High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, was profound for many reasons. They were kids with weary eyes that belied the trauma of what they'd been through despite the smiles they mustered. They were polite and gentle and composed and intelligent and when asked by The Guardian what they felt the editorial response to gun violence in America should be post Parkland, they did not flinch but instead detailed, with professionalism and certainty well beyond most peoples' reach, exactly their opinion from their well-informed point of view. Then they came, one-by-one, to me to have their portraits taken. And that's when I fumbled and blustered and tried to strike a balance between the usual entertaining conversation you have to make to help a portrait subject feel comfortable, and my eagerness to... not exactly thank them. That would be condescending. After all, they don't want to be doing this. I can guarantee that no victim of gun violence WANTS to be making the gun reform movement their major focus. These kids want to be going to prom and thinking about dating or college or whatever else now pushed to their back burners, deemed trivial in the face of survival, physical and emotional. But also yes. I wanted to thank them. And to apologize for being part of the previous generation that has somehow failed them so badly. 

 Madyson Kravitz, survivor, Douglas Stone High School shooting, Parkland, FL, Feb 14, 2018 

Madyson Kravitz, survivor, Douglas Stone High School shooting, Parkland, FL, Feb 14, 2018