MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Actions spoke louder than words for Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho who joined thousands of students across Miami-Dade who took part in a nationwide walkout Wednesday to mark the one month anniversary of the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.
The Valentine’s Day shooting claimed the lives of 14 students and three teachers.
For Wednesday’s walkouts, students were asked to leave their classrooms for 17 minutes, one minute for each person who died.
Carvalho took part in the walkout at iPrep Academy where he is the principal. Approximately 300 students left their classrooms and assembled on the playground where several student speakers addressed the shooting and the need to keep guns out of schools.
“Look if we respect the voice of the kids, if we respect the sanctity of their lives, then you ought to walk shoulder to shoulder, eye to eye, with them and that’s exactly what I am going to show this community,” said Carvalho.
“We love our kids, we want to protect our kids, we want to be with them every step of the way,” he added.
The superintendent said he applauds the thousands of students who took part in the Wednesday walkouts to make their voices heard.
“It is heartwarming, it inspires me to believe that tomorrow shall be better because of them. It reinforces my belief that they are bright, they are reasonable, they are aware, they are forceful, and they are not to be ignored,” he said.
Carvalho said while the state recently took steps on gun reform, more needs to be done.
“Florida recently adopted some pretty historic legislative changes, increasing the age you must be to purchase a gun, imposing a three day cooling off period, providing law enforcement with additional powers to remove guns from those who are not mentally fit. I think we need to go beyond that at the national level. We really need to have a conversation about the need for automatic weapons on the streets of our country, I don’t think we need that,” he said.
Carvalho said as a nation, it’s time to make a choice to help ensure the safety of the children.