StoryCorps: A Year After Parkland, A Mother And Daughter Remember Maya Altman survived last year's shooting in Parkland, Fla. At StoryCorps, she and her mom, Robyn, reflect on that day and how it has affected them.
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A Year After Parkland, A Mother And Daughter Remember

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A Year After Parkland, A Mother And Daughter Remember

A Year After Parkland, A Mother And Daughter Remember

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Time for StoryCorps. Last Valentine's Day, Maya Altman stepped out of her freshman biology class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when she heard booming sounds. They were gunshots from the mass shooting nearly a year ago that took the lives of 17 people, including her friend Alyssa Alhadeff. At StoryCorps, Maya sat down with her mom to remember.

MAYA ALTMAN: I saw everybody running in every direction. And in the blink of an eye, everyone was gone. I remember being thrown into the ROTC room. And I was told to go in the back, lay down, be quiet.

ROBYN ALTMAN: So you didn't know yet?

ALTMAN: I don't think anybody really knew. I was on 10 percent, and Dad was texting me. He said, what's going on? I said, I don't know. Do you see police? I said no idea. And he said, are you out of school? And then my phone died. And we were fighting that morning. I don't remember why (laughter). I remember being like, my mom's mad at me, and, like, I'm never going to say I'm sorry. After the SWAT came into my class, they had us run with our heads down and our hands on our heads. And they're like, don't look to your right, don't look to your right. And obviously if somebody tells you not to do something and you're a bunch of teenagers, you're going to do it. And the doors were open, and there were backpacks all inside. And it was red. And, like, everything was a mess.

ALTMAN: When you say red, meaning blood?

ALTMAN: Yeah, yeah.

ALTMAN: When I saw you and I was able to touch, feel, hug you, I remember just, like, not wanting to let go. What was your experience when you finally saw us?

ALTMAN: I didn't really think, like, I'm so glad to see you. I just wanted to leave. And I remember we went home, and I was texting Alyssa. And I was like, where are you; are you OK? And Alyssa never texted back. So I was just praying, please let her be OK. And she wasn't. How did you feel about sending me back to Douglas?

ALTMAN: I remember just feeling so uneasy. And you decided to go in by yourself, and I remember thinking how brave you were.

ALTMAN: I could talk to my creative writing teacher about things that I couldn't talk to you about because she understood everything. I mean, she got shot.

ALTMAN: How do you think the shooting affected your ideas for the future?

ALTMAN: I don't - I didn't really think about that there was a possibility that I wouldn't grow up, you know? There was no possibility that maybe I might die at 15. But, like, once I saw some of my friends did, it was just like, I have a life; I want to do something to feel worthy.

ALTMAN: Seeing what you went through in this past year and seeing how you're sort of working through it even on the toughest, toughest nights, it's - I'm just so grateful. I'm just so grateful and proud of you.

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GREENE: Robyn Altman with her daughter Maya at StoryCorps in Parkland, Fla. That conversation will be archived along with hundreds of thousands of others at the Library of Congress.

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