Teacher: I’ve played ball in the Douglas High gym

Friend sends Panzer video from inside school


Megaphone file photo

Mr. Matt Panzer works at his desk in his classroom on the second floor of Loretto Hall.

Emma Kress, Reporter

The news of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14 spread quickly. For English teacher Mr. Matthew Panzer, that news brought back memories of his own experiences at Douglas.

Panzer grew up in Florida and went to Christopher Columbus High School. He said, “I’m from Miami, Florida. I remember going with my high school (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball team and playing in that gym. So I’ve been to that school. I’ve played in that gym.”

Not long after the mass shooting occurred, Panzer received a video from a close high school friend who knew a teacher at Douglas. ┬áThat video showed a horrifying and graphic scene inside a classroom. Panzer said, “I was obviously shaken. I think everyone was shaken by what they saw, but it certainly takes on a bit of a life for me having been in that area and around those people.”

The shooting at Douglas will impact schools across the country. Panzer said, “I would hope that it raises awareness. I would hope that it sparks serious conversations about procedures and identifying warning signs. This won’t resolve itself. It’s not going away.”

Before the Feb. 14 shooting, an intruder drill already had been scheduled for the Cathedral campus on Feb. 21.