NewsOlathe East Shooting


Olathe East students, parents reflect on Friday's shooting, find ways to heal moving forward

'You hope it causes change'
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Posted at 5:19 PM, Mar 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 17:13:31-05

OLATHE, Kan. — Amy Carter and her daughter Izzy are still trying to make sense of Friday’s tragedy at Olathe East High School.

One weekend is not long enough to process everything, but it has been a safe place for them to start.

“A lot of people have spoken their opinions on Snapchat or Instagram about how they felt about the situation, and a lot of people have been hanging out with each other and finding comfort in that,” said Izzy Carter, junior at Olathe East.

While it is hard for families to fathom the “why” of this week’s events, many hope their experiences were not in vain. Carisa De Anda, mother of a senior at Olathe East, says her daughter Luciana has been turning the experience into advocacy work.

“She was already, before this, the lead for ‘Students Demand Action’ and had gotten me involved in 'Moms Demand Action,'” De Anda said. “She had tried to get kids to sign up a couple weeks ago, and no one signed up. She was like, ‘Everyone has forgotten, and now, we have a reminder.’ So she’s trying to turn this into a positive.”

For De Anda, the weekend has been about finding balance: being there for her daughter while taking care of herself.

“It’s good for them to see that you have emotions, too,” De Anda said. “She talks about it when she wants to, and then we eat junk food and watch Gilmore Girls or whatever she needs, you know?”

Even during one of the toughest moments of parenthood, both Carter and De Anda have found gratitude.

“I just want to add another big thank you to Dr. Stoppel, Officer Clark and again the person who said something. I think they saved a lot of lives that day,” Amy Carter said.

As for moving forward, like many, both mothers are taking the healing process day by day.

“We’ll see what the reaction of the community is as we go forward, but hopefully it strengthens us, brings us together and causes change,” De Anda said.