« Social-Emotional Learning Data May Identify Problems, But Can Schools Fix Them? | Main | Watch: A Former Columbine Student Helps Survivors of Other Mass Shootings, Including Those in Parkland »

Watch: Father of Parkland Victim Puts His Son Front and Center in Fight for New Gun Laws

| No comments

Joaquin Oliver was one of 17 people who died in the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Fla. a year ago this week. His father Manuel Oliver has a creative approach to his activism for new gun laws, putting his son front and center in his work.

On a cold, snowy day in January, Manuel Oliver—equipped with a bullhorn and a sculpture of his son—stood outside the U.S. Capitol. He was joined by his wife and dozens of supporters to urge members of Congress to pass a law requiring universal background checks for gun purchases. 

A visual artist, Oliver travels the country painting murals and using a 3D sculpture of Joaquin, whose family and friends called him "Guac." Oliver also passes out masks of Joaquin's face so people can protest on his behalf. He wants to let others know "that people like my son, a 17-year old, can lose their life in a second."

As the first anniversary of the shooting arrives, Oliver told Education Week that some people believe his advocacy is part of a healing process. "It's not," he said, "It's part of a mission. We're here to raise the voices of every single victim of gun violence."

The families of Parkland victims have taken a variety of positions on gun laws. Some, like Oliver, have joined youth activists from the city in supporting new restrictions on gun purchases and other regulations. Others have stayed out of the gun debate and focused instead on school safety regulations and accountability at the local level.

Related reading on school shootings and school safety:

Follow @evieblad on Twitter or subscribe to Rules for Engagement to get blog posts delivered directly to your inbox.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments