Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

Today, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community is devastated as they recover from one of the worst school shootings in American history. There are no words to describe the sorrow that they are feeling. We watched in horror as students ran from classroom buildings and as ambulances transported the injured to hospitals.

Especially in times like these, we need to look to God for our comfort and strength. This morning during chapel, Middle and Upper School student chaplains joined me in inviting their classmates to pray for the victims, their families, and the brave law enforcement officers who serve the city of Parkland and Broward County.

Our hearts are heavy as we talk with our children about the dangerous world in which we live and the forces of evil that seem to be tearing apart the fabric of a peaceful society. In moments like these, we turn to the source of our hope:

Psalm 46 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathens, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Psalm 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?”

John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Tricia and I join you and all of our students in praying that God’s peace, comfort, and grace will be with us and among us in the days ahead. Our hearts are joined with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community as they continue to live out their school motto which says, “Be positive, be passionate, be proud to be an eagle.”

Steve Whitaker, Ph.D.
Head of School