‘We just suffer:’ Parkland dad reflects on Texas shooting

Morning In America

(NewsNation) — A father who lost his son in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, had strong words for politicians after seeing the shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas.

“It just keeps happening. Ever since Alex was taken from me and murdered in Parkland, I’ve made it my mission to prevent this from happening. And this keeps happening,” Max Schachter, founder of Safe Schools for Alex, said.

Schachter said what happened in Uvalde brought him back to the day of Parkland’s shooting.

“No parent should ever have to go through this. And Congress has to do something to help us,” he said.

Although saddened to see 19 children and two adults killed after a gunman charged into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Schachter was still hopeful some good would come out of that tragedy, and his own: school safety legislation.

“I thought that partisan politics were going to be put aside, but I was naive to think that that was going to happen,” he said. “Congress has failed us. The Democrats won’t give the Republicans a win. The Republicans won’t give the Democrats a win. And we just we suffer.”

At the state level, however, Schachter said there have been improvements.

“We’ve been able to accomplish a lot in Florida,” he said.

This includes mandating an armed school safety officer on every campus, and putting a threat assessment team in every school in the state of Florida.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed school safety bills, including one to put a mental health coordinator in every school district, Schachter said.

FILE – In this Feb. 14, 2019, file photo, Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the firstr anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

“In Florida, we’ve made wholesale changes to the safety and security of our kids,” Schachter said. “Schools are much safer in Florida than where they were prior to the shooting. But federally, there’s still a lot of complacency.”

After hearing from schools that they were “lost” and didn’t know what to do in the face of these shootings, Schachter worked with lawmakers to craft a bill that would create a federal school safety clearinghouse.

Senate Bill 111, called the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, would form a “one-stop-shop” of best practices for school safety education and law enforcement officials can use, Schachter said.

On “Morning in America” Thursday, Schachter expressed disappointment about the bill’s failure to pass Congress.

“I thought that maybe we would be able to put partisan politics aside and do something for the families,” Schachter said. “And I just can’t believe that we couldn’t pass a simple bill that creates a website.”

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