Michael Schulman and Linda Beigel Schulman lost their son, Scott Beigel, in the mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Beigel was a 35-year-old geography teacher who was shot while trying to offer safe harbor to students inside his classroom.
Earlier this month, Michael and Linda received a handwritten letter of condolence from someone unexpected: Barack Obama.
“Your son seemed like an extraordinary young man, and Michelle and I grieve alongside you,” the letter to Michael and Linda read. “We can only imagine the hardship you are going through; hopefully all the wonderful memories can help ease the pain. We’ll get the details about your fund in his honor. In the meantime, you are in our thoughts and prayers.” It was handwritten, and it was signed Barack Obama.
Linda said she found the letter moving and would have even if Obama was not a former president. Asked if she had heard from the current president, Linda said no.
“I received no correspondence whatsoever. I received nothing from the White House. I got a beautiful letter from Marco Rubio,” she said. “I’ve gotten letters from other congressmen. But no, nothing from the president.”
However, she was not disappointed:
Linda said she didn’t want to hear from the president, but she believed she should have. “I think he should’ve reached out,” she said. “Am I disappointed? No. Because I didn’t expect it. I have realistic expectations.”
Linda said she also has realistic expectations for the movement born of the shooting that took her son's life and remains hopeful.
“This is not red and this is not blue. This is human,” she said. “No more fear of the NRA. The government officials are going to have to fear. Not that they’re not going to be reelected because they can’t get their money, but they’re not going to get our votes.”
She added, “How many times has this gone on? Oh, another school shooting. This one’s different. This isn’t another school shooting. This is the school shooting that’s going to make the difference.”