PARKLAND, FL- SOS Parkland, created in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas tragedy, continues to make significant security progress both at home in Parkland and in Broward County. Founder and President Bo Landy summarizes the mission of SOS Parkland, saying "SOS Parkland is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization guided by the principle that all students and educators have an absolute right to safety in our schools. We seek to provide financial support via community fundraising efforts for meaningful security that exceeds the government funded measures."
SOS, which stands for Secure Our Schools, has a 6 point plan to increase safety levels in schools.
- Work with law enforcement, school principals, staff, and teachers to consider the recommendations of the security consultant and determine the best course of action to secure our schools
- Determine a budget for implementing the recommendations
- Secure donations of materials and labor wherever feasible
- Fundraise via local donations and sponsorships
- Fund the approved and recommended security initiatives via the school parent/teacher groups that are set up in each school and secure our schools
- Take what we learn with our effort in Parkland to other local communities in order to assist them in securing their neighborhood schools
One of the achievements already reached by SOS Parkland has been identifying a way to get improved security materials in a number of Broward County Public Schools. "We brought the ballistic glass manufacturer, Ballistiglass, together with the district in order to get ballistic glass tested and approved for BCPS," shared Landy. "Thanks to a generous manufacturer, we were also able to donate hundreds of cameras to 5 schools in Parkland and worked with them to get access to analytic cameras for the whole district at manufacturer's cost."
Another of the successes of SOS Parkland was the "Always Bet on Parkland" casino night. Not only was the event a hit with supporters, but it was a good example of teamwork between local nonprofits that have been established since the MSD tragedy.
Landy loves the idea of working together toward a common goal. "We categorically support the other groups that are also working toward the same goal, which is to have safer kids and teachers. By doing the event with Stand With Parkland, we are combining our efforts, and hence, our voices," he adds. "Also this issue of school security is obviously not just a Parkland issue, it is an issue everywhere and people need to know that we are here to work with community stakeholders in every city in Broward to make their schools safer." Because of the goal and reach of SOS Parkland, Landy says they will be also branding themselves as SOS Broward.
For more information on how to support, volunteer, or donate to SOS Parkland, please visit their website