At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, students are only in their second week back in class since the massacre that killed 17 classmates and teachers. It's still a powerfully emotional time for the hundreds of survivors trying to return to normalcy in the place where they lived through the worst day of their lives.
Then Dwyane Wade crashed lunchtime. The Miami Heat's recently returned superstar surprised everyone by stopping by the school cafeteria and giving a short speech about the inspiration he'd taken from the students standing up in the #NeverAgain movement after the mass shooting.
"I just wanted to come here today and hopefully, for a moment, for a second, bring a little bit of this," Wade said, gesturing at the crowd of cheering, grinning students. "Bring a little excitement, bring a little joy. What you have been going through and how mature you guys have been has been amazing from afar. I just wanted to say I've been inspired."
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Wade said he plans to stay in touch with the students as they continue their activism:
I just had a great conversation with some of the students at Stoneman Douglas High School about some important/impactful things that they have planned. I’m looking forward to being more involved in the change that they WILL create. #MSDStrong— DWade (@DwyaneWade) March 7, 2018
Our conversation about bridging the gap between the students from Parkland, Florida and Chicago was really impressive. These young adults GET IT. They understand the power of their voices for the ones that often go unheard!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) March 7, 2018
The visit came on a doubly powerful day for everyone in Parkland. As students returned to the high school, a grand jury has returned a 34-count felony indictment against shooter Nikolas Cruz.