WASHINGTON -- The father of a high school student killed last week in Florida gave a heart-wrenching, blunt speech imploring President Donald Trump to take action to prevent gun violence in schools.
"I'm pissed. It's my daughter I'm not going to see again," a visibly emotional Andrew Pollack said. "She's not here, she's at North Lauderdale at King David Cemetery. That's where I go to see my kid now."
Pollack was among several speakers invited to an emotional audience with Trump in the White House. Also invited to the televised meeting were Parkland students who survived the shooting and family members of students killed in Sandy Hook and Columbine, as well as local Washington, D.C.-area students and teachers.
His 18-year-old daughter Meadow and 16 other students and faculty members were killed during a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day.
"We as a country failed our children. This shouldn't happen," he said, demanding that politicians and leaders work to immediately secure schools around the country before tackling the heated, polarizing gun-violence issue.
Pollack invoked the security changes implemented after the Sept. 11 attacks, asking why the country acted so quickly following that tragedy but has done little to address school shootings in the nearly two decades since Columbine.
"I can't get on a plane with a bottle of water, but we leave some animal to walk into a school and shoot our children. It's just not right and we need to come together as a country and work on what's important, and that's protecting our children," Pollack said.
"Never, ever will I see my kid. I want it to sink in. It's eternity. My beautiful daughter I'm never going to see again," he added.