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tv   Nightline  ABC  August 16, 2018 12:37am-1:07am PDT

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this is "nightline." tonight, it's back to school in parkland, florida. >> there was a bullet hole in the backpack that's forever going to be a memory. >> reporter: for six months, we followed students as they grieve and fight back after the massacre that killed 17 people. now they face the future while coming to terms with the past. >> i went through this, and it's a part of me now, but it doesn't have to define me. >> changes in other communities, too, like bullet-proof backpacks. >> so you're going to take it and use it as a shield. >> one teen's invention, a bulletproof wall. >> it's a barrier to behind behind in the event of a school shooting. plus, in the zone, how
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caroline marx became one of the top professional surfers in just three short years, and she's only 16. >> even if i didn't get paid, i'll still surf every day. >> how this teen's career has turned into a family enterprise, but first, the "nightline" five. >> bye-bye. >> you good? >> yeah. >> alexa, turn it up. >> here's your reminder. laura says the teething ring is in the freezer. laura's scheduled a playdate for 3:00 p.m. i'm reminding you. y laura loves you, and you're doing a great job. laura loves you, and you're doing a great job. >> number o ♪ ♪ ♪ raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ♪ ♪ bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens ♪
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good evening. thanks for joining us. since the school shoot being in parkland, florida, the debate over gun laws raged and ebbed as students staged a cross-country campaign to fight gun violence. but today the focus was back at the school. they've spent $6.5 million to tighten security, adding more armed guards and beefing up video surveillance. but the memory is still so fresh the back to school ritual was anything but routine. >> my first period is hospitality. then there's psychology andalgia bra. >> you have some challenging classes. you have to study hard this year. >> reporter: anticipating the first day of school can be tough for any teenager. >> what else do you have to have for the first day? >> i was just going to bring some folders and a notebook to write some stuff down. >> reporter: but for brooke
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harrison, this year it's more than back to school jitters. >> there's a hole in my backpack. >> reporter: brooke was in the first classroom attacked in parkland, florida where a shooter opened fire killing 17 people, including three in her class. brooke went into triage mode, helping her injured friends. >> i was telling him, if you feel dizzy, look at my, i told him to focus on me, and i was like, you have to put pressure on your blood. if you don't put pressure on it, you might bleed out. >> reporter: that classmate made it out alive that day. how do you feel about going back? >> i know a lot of people are still going to be upset, it's a constant reminder ever what happened. >> reporter: today as parkland students begin a new school year, there's lingering debate about how best to keep students safe across the country. for the last six months, we've
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been following the journeys of a handful of parkland students, watching as they work through their grief. witnessing moments of resilience and triumph. >> strange to see myself dressed like this. >> reporter: and even watching some transform into activists. >> i'm a little nervous but also excited because i know our legislatures are just people like us, and hopefully they're willing to listen to us. >> reporter: leading a ground swill of advocacy around gun control. first in the halls of the state flori florida. >> you can't walk in with $180 and walk out with an ar-156789. >> reporter: then the march for our lives rally. >> one life is worth more than all the guns in america. >> reporter: to a bus tour mobilizing voters this summer.
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>> we can have a chance to make america the country we want it to be. >> reporter: setting roadblocks when the subject of gun laws pop up. >> we should start by banning weapons of war. >> i don't think we need more gun control. i think we need more idiot control. >> i am furious that in the face of such tragedy and senseless violence that this congress continues to do nothing! >> reporter: but on a local level, citizens are affecting change now. many, like andrew pollack, focussing on beefing up school security. >> if you start saying the gun control word, they'll be fighting gun control for another 200 years after i'm dead. if you want to fight gun control, let's fix the schools, first. >> reporter: andrew's daughter meadow was one of the 17 killed at marjory stoneman douglas school in february. >> these are more pictures of my daughter with her brother, her
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cousins, just enjoying life. you know, she's the all-american girl. my daughter was meadow jade pollack. and she meant the world to me, and she's not here anymore. and she was my baby. she was my princess. she was everything. i'm not going to let this happen to another family. >> reporter: channeling his grief, andrew created a non-profit to advocate for the hardening of schools. >> you need metal detectors. there is a place for armed security in schools, just like there's a place for armed security at a courthouse, just like at the airport there's armed security. >> reporter: just weeks after the parkland shooting, florida governor rick scott signed legislation that in part increases funding for school security. andrew right there by his side. >> every parent has the right to send their kids to school knowing that they will return safely at the end of the day. >> reporter: it funds programs like this one in polk county,
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florida training safs officers. >> they're going to put them through a 140-hour course where they're going to get trained specifically for a school scenario. >> reporter: it's called the aaron fies program. >> we know on average the active shooter arrives, does his evil deed and leaves between two and five minutes. the police response is a plus-five minutes on average. we need to have volunteers from the community that will agree to very good training. preparation, so that they can stand in the gap for us until we arrive. >> reporter: recently, on the federal level, the department of homeland security offering up nearly $2 million to fund trauma training, to teach student skills like proper bleed control techniques, including dressing
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and tourniquets, but this program won't be available for at least three years. but right now there are private companies like mc armor addressing parents fears and anxiety with bullet resistant products for students. my colleague, gloria rivera visited their headquarters. >> it's not too heavy. >> no, it's just like a book. >> they wear it how, like a normal backpack? >> yes, or as a shield. so you're going to take it and use it as a shield. >> reporter: the price tag for these backpacks? more than $500. the company started selling them specifically in the u.s. after sandy hook. >> we already sold out these. >> you're sold out. >> yes. >> after the parkland shooting you sold out. >> yes. >> are you prepared for the backlash? there will be people saying this is a company making a lot of money off of fear. >> but it's not about fear. it's about protection. >> you know, i'm the mother of a
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17-year-old son. i'm outraged by the idea that somehow a bulletproof backpack is going to protect him from this epidemic of mass school shootings in our country. >> reporter: shannon watts is an anti-gun violence advocate. she says marketing these shouldn't be the only solution. >> it's not the technology that's the issue. the issue is that american civilians are seeking them out because our lawmakers are not doing their jobs. they're not passing laws that would actually stem the glow of gun violence in our country. >> after parkland i had a conversation with my parents. i was just like, it's kind of real. that's a really scary thing to wrap your mind around as a teenager. this is my inconvention. safe kids. >> reporter: audrey larsen is going into her sophomore year of high school in connecticut. >> some of my friends were having anxiety about being at school, and i don't think that's fair. >> reporter: which sparked an idea. the uninventor building a prototype for a bullet-proof
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wall. >> it's foiledable, two panel wall for kids to hide behind in the event of a school shooting. >> reporter: for many, these bulletproof ideas are a band-aid, treating the symptoms while ignoring the disease. by the end of her first day back to school, brooke harrison is slowly healing. >> it's goattten better and ber. -- better. i went through this, but it doesn't have to define me. >> reporter: she's only 16, and she's one of the world's top professional surfers. professional surfers. my gums are irritated. i don't have to worry about that, do i? actually, you do. harmful bacteria lurk just below the gum line. crest gum detoxify works below the gum line to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and help reverse early gum damage. and, now there's new crest gum & enamel repair. it gives you clinically proven healthier gums and helps repair and strengthen weakened enamel. gum detoxify and gum & enamel repair, from crest.
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week? breathtaking video of a surfer riding an enormous wave, possibly 80 feet high off the coast of portugal. it could set a new world record, but enough about male surfers. tonight we're introducing you to another record setter. 16-year-old caroline marx is the youngest athlete, man or woman, to qualify for the world surf league championship tour. abc's zachary kiesch spent some time in and out of the water with her. >> reporter: it's just after dawn. and 16 year old marx is getting in her zone. this rookie is about to compete against some of the most decorated surfers in the word. on land, she stands only 5'5". but in the water, she's a giant. >> she's a seasoned, crusty veteran at the age of 16. >> i'm exactly where i want to be, so i'm
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>> reporter: on some levels, she's just getting started. this is her a couple years ago. these days, she drips confidence and moves with style. a ride and rise that's taken her as high as number three in the world. >> it definitely happened really quick. it went from fast. >> reporter: it's been a fruitful season, and a win at this year's super girl would be the icing on the cake. the >> i smell a world title on the line. >> reporter: she is the youngest surfer ever to qualify for the super bowl of surfing. >> it's the top 17 women in the entire world. the boards that i've like won on, i'm still riding this year. >> reporter: a few days before the competition, we met caroline and her family at her home in san clemente, california. her parents say they saw it early. she was different.
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take me back to theig that was gifted. >> you see her horseback riding. she was a barrel racer. she would be winning buckles and all sorts of fun stuff. >> reporter: born in florida, she is the fourth of six children. her brother luke marx is a pro surfer too. she says watching her big brother planted the seeds for surfing. >> i wanted to be exactly like my brothers. i looked up to them and wanted to be just like them. every day after school i was surfing, surfing, surfing. >> reporter: still green, didn't matter. >> big blast for caroline marx. >> reporter: she developed a habit of winning. >> she won three out of the four divisions, which no one ever did. then the national championship for women, the youngest girl.
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and it started snowballing from there. >> reporter: with success came big decisions. it comes with the territory, when hobbies become business. you have to make tough decisions. >> things start coming your way. >> we have to start taking this seriously and shielding her from the business side, keeping it fun for her. >> i have no wax on my board. that's all right. >> reporter: they packed up the whole family from florida and headed west, what some call the center of the surfing world. >> it's insane, eight of us, counting my parents, and we moved for my surfing, it's a huge sacrifice. >> reporter: caroline competes with the adults, but unlike her competitors, she's still technically in high school. >> you have nine books left. you have to get those done. >> reporter: she's home schooled, because she's been busy with business. >> i live in california. >> reporter: back at the competition, the weather is a
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challenge. >> people might think the wave is a wave, but it's not. you have to become a minui weather man. you have to adjust your equipment. >> reporter: she takes what's out there. and she's on to the semi-finals. but she's not doing it alone. this is family. always has been. >> it's not just the competition that gets her motivated. she's doing what she loves to do. which is really rewarding as a parent, because you know your child is in her happy place when she's in the>>eparents it'sotlaeetween her aspirations in the water and the opportunities they create. >> she's very mature for i stil through that when i'm with her, it's like, dad, come on, like everybody's here! i'm like, you know, could you go down over there or something?
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so she is very much 16 in that regard. >> mom, don't bring all the kids. the it's like there are surfers everywhere. >> reporter: do you ever get concerned that on some level she's being robbed of a traditional childhood? >> no. i actually let them go out and go to dance at other schools and prom and homecoming and every one of them came back and said gosh, mom, it's fun, but it's not what i want to do. >> all i want to do is surf, and that's what's fun to me. that sounds more fun than a prom or anything like that. yeah. i don't really feel like i'm missing out on anything. this is my room! i have trophies in here, that's about it. >> reporter: hardware of all shapes and sizes. >> i think the trophy's more money than the actual check i got that day. >> reporter: what do you do with these checks? >> i cash them in. >> reporter: you cash them? >> this is the biggest prize i've ever won. >> reporter: today i'ma nice pl.
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i thought i'd show you guys this beach. even the waves are small, but it's nice to hang out. a cool place to check out. >> reporter: how about a surfing lesson from you? >> yeah, i'd be glad to teach you to surf. it's really, really small, but it's good to try. we're at the ocean. i want to jump in anyway. stand on your feet and get a solid base. do not stand up straight up tall. >> reporter: and i got to it apin't easy. at last, it's the final heat at the super girl pro surf competition. caroline is up against three-time world champion sa moore. >> she's that one person i wanted to be like. >> reporter: moore may be her
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idol, but today they are strictly competitors. >> one of these two goddesses will walk out with a cape. >> reporter: caroline doesn't back down, but in the end, it's not her day. >> i got second. yeah, we had a restart. it was a really slow heat, but it was really close. and i'm glad how i surfed this whole event, yeah. runner-up's not too bad. >> second place here today, caroline marx. >> reporter: wise beyond her years, she speaks like a vet and works like she's never won a thing. >> there's not a lot of people who say they love their job. the fact that i get paid to do what i love is pretty amaze egg, li -- amazing, like a dream come true. >> reporter: this is the ride of a lifetime, and things are just getting started. i'm zachary kiesch in southern california. >> we'll be right back. abc "nightline," sponsored by ford. ord. the best time to buy.
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and tomorrow night on "nightline," gripping stories of a devastating wildfire told through police body cameras. it started on a sunday in
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october, fierce diablo winds send a wildfire toward the city of santa rosa. fire department scouts quickly realize they're no match for the blaze, so they turn their focus to saving lives, running house to house, banging on doors in the dead night, desperate to wake up residents and get them out. we take you behind the scenes of the battle against what would become one of the most destructive and deadly wildfires in california history. destructive and deadly wildfires in california history. body cam,
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