Parents of Stoneman Douglas shooting victims demand new school board leaders

SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - Parents of the victims in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting addressed the commission and lashed out at leaders for their decisions made after the massacre.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission met for the second day, and upset parents showed up to voice their frustrations.

They said that something different needs to happen because they believe that they’ve only seen inaction since the Feb. 14 shooting. Now they want new leaders to take over.

“Where is the accountability?” said Tony Montalto, whose daughter Gina Montalto died. “We’re about to send children back to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The head of security is still in place. The same gentleman who was in charge on Feb. 14 when our loved ones were murdered in that school.”

The families said broken promises have left students vulnerable when it comes to their security while at school.

“He flip-flopped on the metal detectors. He told the families he was gonna put metal detectors in,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow Pollack was killed. “What happens two weeks later? He flip-flops. We’re not gonna do that.”

Pollack continued to say that some of the new safety measures are not enough.

“Broward County, they put 15 monitors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas with radios. Haven’t they learned that that doesn’t work?” he said. “What are they gonna do with their radios? These guys?”

Among those to speak at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission were representatives from the Department of Family and Children Adult Services. They discussed a call they received regarding shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz after he turned 18.

The chair, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, revisited the topic of arming teachers because they’re usually, he said, the first responders.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also spoke on how video from inside the school shows Cruz reloading his AR-15 several times. During a break where he was reloading, a teacher on the third floor had the chance to move the students to safety.

“There is no doubt in my mind from watching the video inside Stoneman Douglas that if somebody had a gun, they could have easily taken him out and could have mitigated the deaths,” Gualtieri said. “There were several times when he had an empty gun, and there were opportunities for staff to intervene if they had been armed.”

Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said they are busy behind the scenes trying to get everything ready for the school year, with safety being the first priority.

“Over a dozen different security measures to make our school environment safer, and also we’ve been working on every single campus throughout Broward County,” Runcie said. “We’re doing that not just to be ‘MSD Strong’ but to make sure we’re also Broward strong.”

However some families of those killed in the shooting said nothing has changed and bureaucracy is stopping progress.

“Enough is enough. We’ve got to protect our children,” said Max Schachter, whose son Alex Schachter was killed. “These people do not have any sense of urgency. I never thought this would happen in Parkland. This can happen anywhere.”

The group is urging all Broward County residents to vote in the upcoming election for new school board leaders.

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