From tragedy to trauma: MSU freshmen discuss surviving multiple school shootings

Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 6:18 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University freshmen, Ava, Bailey, and Emma, are sharing their experiences as members of a club that no one wants to be a part of - the Two School Shootings Survivor Club.

As seniors at Oxford High School in 2020-21, they were present during a school shooting that killed four of their classmates and injured seven.

“I remember, after the Oxford shooting, I went to two vigils,” Bailey said. “One was for someone I was really close with and that was really hard.”

The trauma of the event led them to believe that it would never happen again. However, as they started their college life at MSU, another shooting occurred on campus, killing three students before the shooter reportedly took his own life.

“It felt like a lot of the progress I had made over the last 14 months just completely disappeared,” Emma said. “That was really really upsetting, because you put in so much work to make sure you’re not a shell of a human being and then it happens again and you’re like, ‘Well, where do I go now? How to I come back from this?’”

The three girls, now survivors of two school shootings, share the difficulty of coping with the trauma and the feeling of never feeling fully safe again. Despite the challenges they face, they feel an obligation to help their fellow students who are experiencing gun violence for the first time.

“I’ve definitely been there for my friends and I just tell them if they want to talk, they can,” Ava said. “Emotionally, I know what it’s like to go through it already, so I’m just kind of there for them.”

The healing process has not been easy, but they are there for each other and are encouraging others to feel their emotions and take their time to heal.

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