Stand With Parkland Group Hails Unveiling Of New Federal School Safety Website

PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – Last week at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, Fred Guttenberg reacted. When the President spoke about protecting the second amendment, Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime died in the Parkland shooting, shouted out.

On Monday, in his first comments to a local reporter about the outburst, Guttenberg explained what he said that got him booted.

“(I said) nine words,” he said. “‘What about victims of gun violence like my daughter?’ That’s it.”

Guttenberg said he’s sorry what he did.

“I wish I didn’t so to anyone who got upset with me for it, I sincerely apologize,” he said.

But what he won’t apologize for is why he said it.

“It just was a way for me to be the voice of my daughter,” he explained. “That’s all I thought. What about my daughter? I want to do something so there aren’t more kids out there like my daughter.”

Guttenberg said he was detained but he was eventually released and said he’s grateful that his removal from the state of the union renewed a conversation about gun safety.

“I’m very grateful that people have been talking about gun safety since that speech that they wouldn’t have otherwise,” he said.

On Monday, just days from the two-year mark since the Parkland shooting, the conversation turned to school safety and a new federal website — schoolsafety.gov — which brings together best practice information for schools nationwide so they can be better protected. President Trump met at the White House with members of the advocacy group Stand With Parkland, which is made up of some of the families of the Parkland victims.

WATCH: Stand With Parkland Group Hails Unveiling Of New Federal School Safety Website

 

Max Schachter, whose son Alex is one of the Parkland victims, spearheaded the effort to get it approved by the federal government.

“What are low-cost, no-cost measures?” Schachter told CBS 4 News. “That’s what the federal government is looking at.”

Schachter said schoolsafety.gov recommends that all schools incorporate things like threat assessments, anonymous reporting tip applications, active shooter response policy, among other things. And it’s all available online for schools nationwide.

“We wanted to make these foundational elements applicable to all schools, in all demographics,” Schachter said.

Guttenberg tweeted on Monday morning that he was not informed or aware of the meeting with the President. “My family and I were NOT invited,” he posted on Twitter. Later, it was revealed that the meeting was with members of Stand with Parkland, of which Guttenberg is not a member.

“It was a meeting to highlight the great work some of those families are doing on school safety and I commend that,” he said.

The movement to make school safety a priority after Parkland continues and the Stand With Parkland families believe schoolsafety.gov is a major step forward.

“This event was not intended to be with all Parkland families,” said Tony Montalto, whose daughter Gina, was murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “This was an event that Stand with Parkland was invited to because we had been working on schoolsafety.gov, the federal clearinghouse for safe schools.”

This week is incredibly painful for the Parkland families. Friday marks two years since the tragedy. Guttenberg said he is focused on honoring his daughter and he is promoting a fundraiser for Orange Ribbons for Jaime — a night of comedy with several standup comics including Jim Breuer, next Wednesday, February 19, at the Parker Playhouse. He hopes it brings the community together.

“We are gonna laugh a lot,” Guttenberg said. “I think our community needs it.”

Guttenberg said the foundation is also preparing to announce the recipients of 14 scholarships from Orange Ribbons for Jaime.

Comments