Parents of school-shooting victims and students in schools have renewed calls for school-safety legislation following Tuesday’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
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Tony Montalto, president of the Stand With Parkland organization, is still grieving the loss of his 14-year-old daughter, Gina Montalto.
She was killed in 2018 when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“Our family misses her deeply, every day,” Montalto said.
Max Schachter is the father of Alex Schacter, another victim in the Parkland shooting. He is also the executive director of Safe Schools for Alex.
He said it is heartbreaking to hear the families of 19 children are left to pick up the pieces.
“I’ve been there, and I know what they’re going through,” Schachter said.
He said this is the America we live in, but he hopes that can soon change.
Lawmakers have been pushing ‘school hardening’ legislation, which would introduce further security measures to make schools safer.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott wants the senate to pass the Luke and Alex School Safety Act — a bill that would create a federal clearinghouse on best practices for school safety.
The bill would help implement safety measures that could prevent gun violence in the future.
Schachter said he came up with the idea after the Parkland shooting. He called it a “common-sense” piece of safety legislation.
It was formed in the clearinghouse within the Department of Homeland Security but has not passed at the federal level.
Even if it passes, Schachter said the act will not be enough alone.
“I never said this was the panacea and the answer to mass shootings — I’m saying this is one piece to the puzzle,” Schachter said.
He believes more gun control laws should also be passed.
Montalto agrees there not one solution. He thinks this is a multi-layered issue than can be solved if the communities adhere to the school safety triad.
The triad includes securing school campuses, better mental health screenings and support programs, along with responsible firearms ownership.
He said school shootings often dissolve into firearms conversations, but every part of the puzzle needs to be addressed.
“Let’s come together and find solutions that will make our children and our staff safe in school,” Montalto said.