On February 14, 2018, tragedy unfolded once again in Florida. The heartbreaking loss of seventeen lives during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, touched every Floridian and brought the issue of protecting our children and schools to the forefront of the conversation in Tallahassee.
The following week, I was there when one hundred students from the school and hundreds more from around the state marched on the capital remembering those lives lost. But they were doing much more than that. These young people made it very clear that thousands of Floridians were watching and advocating for change. Legislators from both parties took the time to talk with them and listen to their concerns.
And not only did they listen, those same legislators began a very public, comprehensive debate. The result of this debate became Florida Senate Bill 7026, bi-partisan legislation that put into place several measures that increase safety within Florida’s public schools to protect students and teachers.
Witnessing their actions reminded me how incredible it is to live in a state and country where people young and old are free to exercise their right to raise their voices…and have that voice be heard.
Many on this Valentines Day are experiencing the heartbreak of losing a child, friend, brother, sister, father, or husband. So as you celebrate with the one you love, I would ask a small favor. Take a moment to remember those lives that were taken too soon and perhaps hug your loved one just a little bit tighter.
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy