TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) — Fathers of two of the students killed in the Parkland school massacre urged legislators to do something to keep kids protected – all through heartbreaking testimony on what happens if they’re not safe.
‘You legislators, you all failed me and my little boy,” said Max Schachter, the father of Alexander Schachter who was just 14-years-old when he died in the school shooting. “I cannot wait for you to do the right thing.”
Also there, the father of Meadow Pollack, who was also killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th.
‘I come here today not by choice,” said Andrew Pollack, while at the Florida House Tuesday. “I come here because I feel I have an obligation. I feel that we failed those children, myself included.”
Their testimony was just part of the more than four-hour discussion over a school safety bill which was approved by the House the same day.
As part of the bill, the age to buy a rifle would be raised from 18 to 21. It also creates a 3-day waiting period in the gun-buying process and would allow deputized teachers to carry concealed weapons only if it’s approved by the district.
Pollack pointed out that while there have been 200 school shootings in the U.S., legislators in the Florida House felt safe in their building.
“We’re in this building and we’re all safe but we send our children to school where someone could just walk in with a gun and kill our kids,” said Pollack.
Both fathers told legislators of their suffering after losing their children along with 15 other families mourning the loss of a loved one in the massacre.
“I can’t tell you how much pain is running through my body,” said Pollack while holding back tears. “Everyday I feel it. I don’t want anyone to feel the pain that I feel.”
“If we had had these measures in place, I would not have had to bury my son next to his mother,” said Schachter, voice cracking.
Both fathers pleaded with legislators to take the opportunity and lead the conversation.
“Sadly, you have a unique opportunity in the state of Florida to be leaders and to unite this country around school safety. It’s time to reach across the aisle. Make a commitment to change our destiny. We owe that much to all of our children,” said Schachter.
“Right now, in Florida, we have the chance to stop it and we have an obligation because every other state in this country is watching Florida right now, what we’re going to do. Our children deserve to go into a school, just like we’re sitting here, no one is worried that someone is coming through that door with a gun…..We need to show the rest of our country how we’re going to protect our kids.”
Schachter says since he can’t wait for legislators, he has set up a meeting of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Commission set for March 5th in Parkland.
“I have the top experts from across the country flying in to be present at this meeting,” said Schachter who added that in the meeting they come up with a blueprint to make Stoneman Douglas and other schools safe from a similar attack.
The Senate was also set to take up a similar school safety bill.