By Yona Gavino

SOUTHLAKE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s a student in North Texas with a personal connection to the deadly Parkland, Florida school shooting.

Not only did Katie Silverman live there, but if she wasn’t now in Texas, she would be attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Silverman is rallying her classmates at Carroll Senior High School in Southlake to support her former classmates in Florida. She knew two people who died.

screen shot 2018 03 06 at 5 37 59 pm North Texas Student From Florida Organizing Support Effort

Katie Silverman – former Parkland, Florida student (CBS11)

She said it’s been difficult to wrap her mind and heart around the tragedy. She and another student teamed up, hoping to inspire change.

“I knew two of the victims, Meadow Pollack and Joaquim Oliver. We shared many classes together,” said Silverman.

“I lived there (in Parkland, Florida) for three and a half years and went to the middle school that’s right next to Stoneman Douglas,” said Silverman. “I was in class. I got a text from my parents. Thought it was a joke. This doesn’t happen in Parkland,” said Silverman.

She said she went to middle school with the suspected shooter and remembers him pulling the fire alarms even back then.

Last week, she and Alanna Miller spoke to the school district. Silverman suggested it consider even more security measures inside schools.

The girls organized a walkout this Thursday.

“It’s taking place across Carroll High School and Carroll Senior High School on March 8 at 10am for 17 minutes,” said Miller.

The principal of Carroll Senior High School sent parents an email. It reads in part:

“While this is not a district-sponsored event, we will work with our students to help ensure a peaceful event as they exercise their free speech rights. We will not penalize students who participate in this event and return to class after 17 minutes.”

So far, 200 students are signed up to walk out.

“It’s inspiring, I think, and it really started with Stoneman Douglas and those students who have been so brave,” said Miller.


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