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On the Ground With Parkland Teens As They Plot a Revolution

In Parkland, in the weeks after the shooting, emotional distance from the actual horror is measured in increments. The teenagers who quickly became the faces of the trauma were not those who had been the closest to the violence or to the dead — the largest portion of whom were in the ninth grade in what’s known as the freshman building. Most of those students and their families are suffering in all the cruel and by-now-expected ways; overwhelmed with loss, they are numb and raging, sometimes to the point of paralysis and surreal disbelief, and, to the public, mostly invisible. But a different cadre of students, spared the worst, has exhibited a very different response: Activated by fury, demanding to be heard, they had the emotional bandwidth to strategize and to give sound bites as needed.