HEALING, MSD STRONG, NEWS — February 23, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Hundreds run in honor of MSD teacher Scott Beigel and 16 other heroes

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Hundreds gather at Pine Trails Park in support of Coach Beigel and the 16 other victims. Photo by Richard Doan

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, hundreds of people from across the country congregated in Pine Trails Park to honor the life of cross-country coach and geography teacher, Scott Beigel, and the 16 other victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Over the past weekend, the cross-country team turned to social media to spread awareness of the run they called “Run 4 Biegel.” Their widely distributed digital fliers and viral #runwithcoachbeigel hashtag resulted in support from across the nation, with those unable to attend the event hosting runs in their own areas.

Participants near and far ran around the three-quarter mile facility located just about a mile from MSD. Many along the way took a stop to remember the victims at the 17 flower and candle laden crosses situated towards the latter part of the course.

Among the participants were local law enforcement officers, many of whom were at the scene during the tragedy at MSD on Feb. 14. To demonstrate their appreciation for serving the community, the hundreds of students, faculty and parents present broke out into applause as these officers made their laps around the fields.  

“[Scott Beigel was] a man who showed up at the very beginning of the school year without a single clue about cross country and made a huge impact on our team,” sophomore Annagrace Myers said. “He never taught us anything technical about running or training; he taught us how to run with our hearts.”

Beigel was often remembered for his witty sarcastic nature and his inspiring leadership. MSD senior Nick Boyer details a memory about one of Beigel’s first practices with his cross-country team in which he joked, “Why can’t you run a little faster?”

When MSD came under attack on Feb. 14, Beigel opened his classroom door to let in students attempting to flee from the shooter. In his act of heroism, Beigel was shot dead as he tried to re-lock the door for the safety of the students inside.

Beigel’s mother, Linda Beigel Schulman, delivered an emotional speech imploring for an end to gun violence.

“I promise that we are going to fix this, no matter what it takes,” Schulman said. “ No matter where you see me and no matter what I’m doing – follow me. We are going to make sure this happens as few times as we can. I would like to say never, but we all know this is going to happen until we fix this.”

Following the speeches, participants ran a final memorial lap and released 17 white balloons to remember the 17 victims whose lives were taken far too soon.

Although all victims were honored, this one was especially for Coach Scott Beigel. To the coach that knew hardly anything about cross country, but knew how to inspirit his kids, to the coach who always managed to make students laugh, to the coach that sacrificed his life to save his students, this one is for him.

Richard Doan

Richard Doan is a first generation Vietnamese-American senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. He is an active member of the school's DECA program and varsity tennis team. With past experience at City News Magazine, he seeks to apply his journalism skills to contribute to the esteemed Eagle Eye.

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7 Comments

  1. Jim & Lillian Speer

    Dear Eagles,
    We are seniors ages 79 & 81 in Americus, Ga. that totally support your efforts to bring common sense solutions to the ” out of control” gun violence. Your generation represents our best chance for any meaningful progress. We believe youth and vitality will overcome old age and treachery so don’t let opposition comments discourage your movement. We would like to purchase caps/hats or shirts to show our support. We will continue to follow your progress. Your vote will make the difference.
    Take care,
    Jim & Lillian Speer

    • Thank you Jim and Lillian for your support. We hope that more people, like you, will join us in our movement for change.

  2. Perhaps you can get donations for your paper if you put a donate button on this website? Excellent work in the face of tragedy. You kids are smarter than so many adults in this world. Keep at it, we thank you.

  3. My heart hurts for the losses you have suffered at MSD. Your continued speaking out keeps this very important discussion going. No sportsman needs an AR15. The gun lobby screams Second Amendment and would love to have teachers carrying guns to promote more gun sales. Raising the age limit is no longer acceptable. No more sales of these killing machines.

  4. Pamela Sprout

    The horrific experience that you, thankfully, lived through is one that has touched your and millions of others’ lives, and our love and support goes out to you. We so admire your strength and your courage in standing up for sensible gun legislation. You have already made a difference, and I think will continue to do so. It sickens me to live in a state (Alaska) with such a strong gun culture, because my granddaughters here are at as much, perhaps more, gun risk as you all were. May we all make a positive change in our culture, following the brave lead of all of you MSD students. Thank you for your courage.

  5. Clayton Burns

    Richard,

    The students at MSD have exhibited tremendous leadership that has influenced the President in changing his thinking about guns.

    The outlook is good in that MSD has the potential to shift the focus from force as a persuader to thinking.

    If I could make a couple of suggestions, Florida should take the initiative in cooperation with the FBI and perhaps California at first so as to establish secure mass e-mail, texting, and website capacity with schools and colleges.

    For example, when so-and-so posted on YouTube that he was going to be a professional school shooter, the FBI should have privately asked the question to all the principals of America:

    —Do you have or have you had a (troubled) student by the name of Nikolas Cruz?

    In this case, it would have called up the name at your school.

    A perceptive person in Florida said that such a system could also allow for secure communication among schools.

    “Hardening” schools can be valuable. But there are still sports and other potential areas of difficulty.

    Far better, far quicker systems of communication are the first priority.

    In line with that, I don’t know if the teaching of IT in Florida is any better than in Canada. I write books. I would like to hire students to design apps for me like the great one for the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. But they don’t have the skills.

    I would have students become Apple developers. It is not all that expensive.

    Resilience in the case of MSD is impressive.

    Clayton

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