Make our schools great again: Florida school shooting victim's mother's poignant call for action

ByDanny Clemens KGO logo
Monday, February 19, 2018
Make schools great again: Mom of Fla. victim's call to action
After her daughter Alyssa was shot to death, Lori Alhadeff is calling for stricter gun control and enhanced security in schools.

PARKLAND, Fla. -- After her daughter was shot to death at Stoneman Douglas High School, Lori Alhadeff is pledging to spend the rest of her life fighting for stricter gun-control measures and enhanced security in schools.

Alhadeff's daughter Alyssa, a 14-year-old soccer player, was one of 17 students and faculty members killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Feb. 14. In emotional Facebook Live, Alhadeff challenged President Donald Trump and other legislators to come together and effect meaningful change to prevent future mass shootings.

"President Trump, you want to build a wall? Let's start by building a wall around our schools. Let's build a wall at the doorways of our classrooms," Alhadeff said, surrounded by pictures of her daughter. "Let's make each door to the classroom a bulletproof door with high-end bulletproof technology."

Saying that school security should be a top priority, she called for armed guards at schools, metal detectors at every school entrance and even suggested that students should be provided with bulletproof backpacks that open up into "bulletproof suits."

Alhadeff joined a growing chorus of voices demanding immediate firearm reform, calling for the AR-15 and other assault weapons to be taken off of the streets. She demanded psychological testing for potential gun owners and mandatory background tests to precede all firearm sales.

"People can't drink until they are 21 years of age but we allow an 18-year-old teenager to buy an AR-15 rifle?" she said. "Yes, it's for hunting, and that's exactly what he did. He hunted our children," she said.

SEE ALSO: In wake of Fla. school shooting, survivors demand change

In light of the FBI's admission that it failed to investigate a tip that the suspect had a "desire to kill" and could be plotting an attack, Alhadeff demanded accountability. She also named the Broward County Sheriff's Office and Broward County Public Schools as agencies that could have prevented the shooting.

"I am sorry but you are in charge of everyone and the accountability of this wrongdoing starts at the top and trickles down," she said to Trump. " I don't have all the answers but as a united country, Republicans and Democrats, let's unite together and figure this out. We are one team we are the United States of America."

Alhadeff's Facebook Live wasn't the first time she publicly demanded change. On the day of the shooting, she gave an emotionally charged and widely circulated interview to HLN in which she implored lawmakers to take action.

"I just spent the last two hours putting the burial arrangements for my daughter's funeral, who's 14. President Trump, please do something. Action! We need it now! These kids need safety now!" she said.