In order for students to be successful academically, they must feel safe in school. In light of Wednesday's tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, and the other 17 school shootings that have occurred in 2018, the need for policy change at the federal and state levels remains clearly urgent.
We join with so many others in elevating our love and support for the 17 families who have lost their children, parents or spouses, and the thousands of other students for whom Valentine’s Day will forever bring back difficult memories of this unnecessary act of violence. For those interested in supporting the families of the victims, the Broward Education Foundation is accepting donations to a memorial fund or you can text “Parkland” to phone number 20222 to make a $10 donation.
We know this cycle of thoughts and prayers has historically rung hollow for far too many students, teachers and school-based personnel who deserve safe places to learn and teach. We also know that as local school districts here in Jacksonville and across the country have begun to review their prevention efforts and security processes. We hope that through consistent community advocacy, these local efforts remain a top priority and are complemented with additional state and federal support to address the root causes of such tragedies.
We also elevate our thoughts to local and state officials as they strive to find long-term, lasting solutions and remain hopeful as we know all are committed to improving safety in our public schools:
If you need support following yesterday's tragic events, services are available to help. In-person grief counseling is also available today at a number of locations in #Broward County: https://t.co/udLAXTkSsd. #Parkland https://t.co/3FeMMB38un— Florida Department of Education (@EducationFL) February 15, 2018