Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Parents of Stoneman Douglas shooting victims running for Broward School board

Parents of Stoneman Douglas shooting victims running for Broward School board

Alyssa Alhadeff and Alaina Petty, both 14, were killed in the Valentine's Day shooting at Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "I do not want any child to ever have to say to their mom, 'Mommy, am I gonna die today when I go to school?' That is why I'm running for school board".

Lori Alhadeff and Ryan Petty are holding a news conference Tuesday morning outside the Broward County Governmental Center to formally make the announcement. After more than two months of denial, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie announced at the beginning of May that confessed-shooter Nikolas Cruz was assigned to the rehabilitation program back in 2013 for vandalism.

"I do not want any other parent to go through the pain and anguish that I go through everyday", Alhadeff said. College student Elijah Manley, 19, has also announced his intention to compete for the seat. "There is no better way to ensure that the change this school system desperately needs is achieved than to have a seat at the table", she said.

"How do we allow a gunman to come into our children's school?"

The day after the deadly rampage, Alhadeff appeared on CNN, taking a break from her 14-year-old daughter's funeral preparations to issue a fiery challenge to President Donald Trump to do something - anything - about the epidemic of gun violence in schools. How do they get through security? She posed a series of questions - about bulletproof glass, police involvement in schools and on-campus psychologists - and closed her remarks demanding real solutions: "Enough talk".

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"If I get elected to the school board, I can be part of making sure the law gets implemented", Petty told Politico.

Alhadeff also lost her daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, in the shooting.

"Our message is simple: We must be the last families to lose loved ones to mass murder in school", he said.

The two parents' focus on local school board politics comes as survivors and parents of victims of the Parkland school shooting in February push for change on multiple levels, from passing modest gun control measures at the state level to volunteering for a campaign for Florida's governor, to focusing on congressional midterm elections with the hope of voting out candidates who oppose federal gun laws. The general election is slated for November 6.

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