By Kevin Deutsch
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Principal Michelle Kefford comforted parents of MSD students Wednesday after a shooter killed 21 people at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
“We are saddened by the news of the tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Texas,” Kefford said in her email to MSD parents and guardians. “Our hearts go out to the families affected and the entire community. While we understand this incident happened hundreds of miles away, we know the impact such news has in our community. I want you to know, we are here to help any students or families who need support services.”
Kefford said the Parkland school’s security staff “will continue to enforce safety measures on our campus.”
“As always, we encourage anyone in our community to say something if they see something,” she wrote.
Tuesday’s mass shooting happened four years and three months after the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting that left 17 people dead at MSD.
The victims were Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duque Anguiano, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jaime Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, and Peter Wang.
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright also addressed local parents and guardians in a statement Wednesday, telling them, “there are no words that begin to express the heartbreak we feel for the families of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.”
“Our hearts are with them and their entire community as they cope with this senseless tragedy,” said Cartwright. “As a reminder, mental health professionals at our schools are available to support students and families in need of assistance. As we approach the end of the school year, our school District is committed to ensuring the safety of our students and staff by remaining vigilant and maintaining constant communication with our law enforcement partners.”
The superintendent added that “school safety is our collective responsibility” and echoed Kefford’s message of vigilance.
“If you see something, say something,” Cartwright said.
During the Texas shooting, the killer barricaded himself in a single room, where he killed 19 kids and two teachers, law enforcement officials said.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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