Their Girls Were Killed in Parkland. Now They Want a 'Seat at the Table'

Parents of 2 victims are running for the school board
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2018 1:32 PM CDT
Parents of 2 Parkland Victims Running for School Board
Louis Rodrigues, 14, a classmate of Alyssa Alhadeff, holds her funeral program in his hand at the Star of David Funeral Chapel in North Lauderdale, Fla., Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

(Newser) – Alyssa Alhadeff and Alaina Petty, both 14, were killed in the Valentine's Day shooting at Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Now, two of their parents are running for the Broward County school board, ABC News reports. Lori Alhadeff and Ryan Petty announced Tuesday that they are running because of the massacre, in which 17 students and staff members were killed. Alhadeff said a spot on the school board is the best way she can think of to work toward improving school safety: "I [don't] want any parent to go through the anguish I went thorough or for any child to say, 'Mommy, am I going to die at school today?'" she said, per NBC News. Petty said he wants to "represent parents all over the district who deserve to have their children come home to them every afternoon."

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The parents said they also want to work toward more transparency and accountability in the district; Petty mentioned the "confusing matrix of discipline programs" that allowed the suspected school shooter to fall through the cracks despite warning signs of what was to come. Alhadeff also said discipline systems at the district need to be "revamped" because they have "gone from the complete extremes—from over-disciplining kids to not disciplining kids, which we have now." "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. "I want to do everything possible to make this school system a model that other districts will look and try to replicate." In addition to running for the school board, she and Petty said they would also continue to advocate for gun control, the Miami Herald reports. (Read more Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stories.)

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