Though 448 miles apart, some things can still hit close to home.
When Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was being riddled with bullets and students were being killed on Feb. 14, Godby assistant football coach Jacquez Green got a text from his wife about a shooting at a South Florida school.
Then he heard which school – it was the same one that his 16-year-old son Jackson attends.
Fortunately for Green, his sophomore son, who lives in Coral Springs with Green’s ex-wife, was far from the area where Nikolas Cruz killed 17 individuals. Others weren’t so fortunate.
“I was so nervous,” Green said. “We were trying to figure out the details going on.
“Generally, when you come from a bad environment, the one place where you can get a meal and feel safe is school. It’s crazy you can shoot up a place where most people should feel safe.”
With threats being exposed on social media over the last couple days about a student at Wakulla and a student at Godby being arrested for instilling fear that a shooting could happen locally, it brings the issue even closer to home.
“There are kids in our area that are nervous,” Green said. “And in this social media age, you have copycats that are trying to get attention.”
Green isn’t the only person in the area with ties to Stoneman Douglas. He isn’t the only person asking questions.
And in light of the situation where Douglas athletic director Chris Hixon and assistant football coach Aaron Feis were killed while trying to shield students, it has now become a topic every campus is discussing.
“When I saw his name, I said, ‘Oh, my God, I know him,” Leon County Schools Athletic Director Ricky Bell said about Hixon, whom he had served with for 10 years on the FIAAA board of directors when Hixon was the South Broward High athletic director.
“He was just a real humble guy, whatever needed to be done he’d do it. Happy, friendly and just a good person.
“I read that when Chris heard the gunshots, he jumped in the golf cart and raced to the site. He was ex-Navy, so he went to protect the kids. I think most coaches and teachers would do that.”