PARKLAND, FL- Stand With Parkland, the locally founded school safety advocacy organization, continues to persevere in its battle to make change in our schools. Recent months have brought a number of opportunities to the foreground, and they continue to push for change at the local and national levels.
The group recently returned from Washington D.C. on the heels of a series of school safety meetings. Sessions were held with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education. After the recent shooting in Ohio, Stand With Parkland reached out to the lawmakers in Washington and were able to work with them on some key areas.
"First, we want to be inclusive, nonpartisan and comprehensive in our effort," shared Stand With Parkland spokesman Tony Montalto. "Secondly, we need to be securing our campuses better and have a better system of mental health screening. And third, we are pushing for responsible firearms ownership."
Stand With Parkland was also invited to take a look and be involved in the development of a newly proposed National Clearinghouse for School Safety. The Clearing House for School Safety would identify best practices for school security and design and allow school teachers, parents, and administrators to make informed decisions about the best ways to keep their schools safe.
"Progress has been tremendous since February 14 in various states, but clearly more needs to be done and status quo isn't working," said Montalto. "There's not enough progress from the federal government, and we need Congress to work together. The bi-partisan background check has been passed by the House. It hasn't been passed by the Senate. We need to try to bring people together towards a solution, towards a compromise. Let's capture what we can agree on now."
The next steps for Stand With Parkland are to continue outreach efforts on Capital Hill, continue generating tips for parents to make progress in school safety, and increase the effort to pass the Eagles Act, which provides additional funding to the United States Secret Service Threat Assessment Center. The bill, co-sponsored by Ted Deutsch, has support in both the House and the Senate.
It's difficult for our families to relive these events," added Montalto. "We see how it affects our community, schools, and first responders. The effects go beyond those that are killed or wounded."
Stand With Parkland has found its place as an organization that can unite people across the political spectrum. "There's been no voice of the middle, and we want to be that voice," shares Montalto. "We want to make it easy for people to be involved. We are the voice of the middle, the voice of the people."
For more information and to get involved please visit: Stand with Parkland