Yearbook of School Shooting Victims Aims To Boost Gun Violence Reforms
Copies of the yearbook, created by a group of students and parents of school shooting victims, will be sent to governors, senators and President Trump.
- By Haley Samsel
- December 11, 2019
To draw attention to school shooting victims and mobilize action against violence in schools, shooting survivors, parents and nonprofit organizations to launch “The 2018 Yearbook.”
In this yearbook, readers will not find fond school memories, or even photographs of students and staff. Instead, each page is dedicated to a person killed in a school shooting in 2018, showing an empty box where their photo should appear.
Copies of the yearbook will not be sold to the general public. Instead, the group behind the project plan to ship the yearbooks to all members of the Senate, governors of every state, each 2020 presidential candidate and President Trump.
“I want this project to spur everyone into action,” Scarlett Lewis, one of the yearbook’s organizers, told The New York Times. “The opposite of anxiety is action.”
Lewis’ 6-year-old son, Jesse, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012. With the seventh anniversary of the massacre coming this Saturday, Lewis wants every American to witness the pain caused by school shootings and feel compelled to contact their members of Congress to push for gun reform.
“We are all responsible for our children’s safety in school,” Lewis said. “We know what to do, we just have to find the courage to do it.”
The yearbook project was spearheaded by Julia Cordover, the student body president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. at the time of the shooting in February 2018, and her cousin, creative director Andrew Goldin.
“In so many ways, I feel like I can’t do anything about the problem, and I’m tired of feeling that way,” Goldin told the Times.
While the pair said they have no illusions about this project changing the dynamics of the gun control debate, they said it was important to draw more attention to the costs of gun violence in schools.
“It’s a good call to action for the youth to get out there and vote and have a knowledgeable experience about what’s going on in America,” Cordover said.
Beyond sending copies to politicians, the group will hold an exhibition in Brooklyn from Dec. 12 through Dec. 29 displaying the yearbook, a timeline of school shootings in 2018 and opportunities for visitors to learn about organizations working on gun violence issues.
Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.