They know what it’s like to live through a school shooting like the one that claimed 17 young lives in South Florida.
Julie Schardt was a teacher at Cleveland Elementary in 1989 when a man with an AK-47 squeezed through a gap in their chain link fence, walked across a field and opened fire on their playground. He wounded 30 people and killed five children.
“One of my students was killed. I had to identify her and I had to see her on the ground,” Schardt said.
She had to see 8-year-old Oeun Lim, a Cambodian refugee, bleed to death from a massive gunshot wound.
“You live with that the rest of your life,” Schardt said.
Anthony Beaty was a student at Cleveland.
“We started hearing the gunshots in the hallway,” he told FOX40.
He survived because his third-grade teacher pulled him inside a classroom.
Beaty said he’s frustrated that nearly 30 years later it keeps on happening. He hurts for the victims and survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“They’re gonna have to deal with this a lot more, I think, than I did,” he said.
On Friday, protestors gathered to put pressure on the people they believe should be dealing with it.
“We’re angry and people around us are angry because of the inaction of Congress," Schardt said. "And we really feel there needs to be some changes.”
They are calling for more extensive background checks on all gun purchases as well as a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines.
“We have to protect our children,” Beaty said.
Beaty is now a father himself who drives past the Cleveland campus every day to drop his kids off at different schools.
He told FOX40 he thinks we all need to be better about reporting people who are clearly disturbed and acting out before others are murdered.
“It’s the boy who cried wolf. One day the wolf’s gonna come and we’re not gonna be ready,” Beaty said.