Parkland dads advocate for new federal website providing ‘resources to create a safer school’
A new website, with the mission of avoiding another school tragedy, is a single place where you can gauge how safe your child’s school while having several excellent resources available.
In the two years since their children were shot and killed inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Tom Hoyer and Tony Montalto have pushed for safer schools.
“We have been advocating a lot this year,” Hoyer said.
That advocacy with the group, Stand With Parkland, most recently landed the two parents in the White House Oval Office.
“It’s been surreal would be kind of a word to describe it,” Hoyer said. “We’re talking with people I never thought we’d be talking to. We’re in rooms I never thought we’d be in, talking about things obviously I never thought we’d be talking about.”
Just days before the shooting anniversary, the Trump Administration launched SchoolSafety.Gov, which is a federal school safety clearinghouse.
“It’ll tell you where your school needs to do better, it’ll give you links to actionable items,” Montalto said. “There’s also a place to find federal grants that are available to fix these deficiencies.”
Stand With Parkland worked with various departments, like Homeland Security, to roll out a new “official website of the United States government,” the group calls a “one-stop-shop” for school districts, parents and teachers.
“It’s a one-stop-shop for all the information about school safety, not just hardening the campus,” Montalto said, “but also programs that promote social-emotional learning that will help our children have empathy for one another.”
Along with the school safety readiness tool, the website also offers ways to improve mental health services to make sure no other family has to go through what these two fathers have.
“Every family in America,” Montalto said, “should be demanding that their school districts go to this site and do this for every one of their buildings.”