A teenage girl who was critically wounded in yet another school shooting, this time at a Maryland high school, was removed from life support after doctors pronounced her brain dead. She died late Thursday night. Melissa Willey, the mother of 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey, told reporters on Thursday that her daughter had “no life left in her,” and that she would be removed from life support by the family’s decision. Austin Rollins, 17, shot Jaelynn in the head and another 14-year-old boy in the thigh at Great Mills High School on Tuesday with a Glock handgun that belonged to his father. Rollins died after the shooting — either by taking his own life, or from a bullet fired by a school resource officer. The injured 14-year-old boy was released from the hospital on Wednesday. According to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, Rollins and Jaelynn had recently ended in a relationship.
“On Tuesday … our lives changed completely and totally forever,” Melissa Willey said on Thursday. “My daughter was hurt by a boy who shot her in the head and took everything from our lives.”
The tragic news of Jaelyn’s fate came Friday as editors for The Guardian announced that student journalists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school would serve as the newspaper’s guest editors for the next two days so that they could manage coverage of the March for Our Lives, the nationwide student-led protest against gun violence scheduled for this Saturday. In anticipation of the protest, TIME magazine revealed a cover photo featuring 5 of the Parkland High School survivors leading the push against gun violence — including Emma Gonzalez, the outspoken NRA critic who has called on politicians such as Trump and Rubio to reject the powerful gun lobby’s “blood money.”
Thank you, @TIME. To everyone wondering why I’m not wearing shoes in the cover: I didn’t feel like it – plain and simple. Hippies didn’t wear shoes in the 60’s so I’m just jumping on the bandwagon ✌🏽 pic.twitter.com/1Ysg7XAxTC
— Jaclyn Corin (@JaclynCorin) March 22, 2018
Among the stories assigned and commissioned by the student journalists was a manifesto they wrote on how to reform gun laws. In the piece, they recommended that bump stocks, high capacity magazines, and semi-automatic weapons that fire high-velocity rounds be banned on the basis that allowing guns that “simulate the effect of military-grade automatic weapons” to be available puts normal citizens “into the kind of danger faced by men and women trapped in war zones.” Their manifesto also recommended a number of other measures to prevent gun violence, such as raising the age required for owning guns to 21, the establishment of a national database recording all gun sales, and increasing funding to schools so that they could hire more mental health and security professionals.
For more on Jaelynn Willey, watch the video below.