Brevard County Schools will be participating in a state-wide moment of silence on Valentine's Day, marking the first anniversary of the Parkland shootout in which 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Superintendent Mark Mullins said he received a letter from Superintendent Robert Runcie, who oversees the schools in Broward County where the shooting occurred, inviting the other 66 Florida school districts to participate in the commemoration at the school. Statewide Thursday at 10:17.
"This sincere tribute will pay tribute to those who have been directly and terribly affected by this horrific tragedy, including the entire family of MSD and Parkland families," Runcie said in a press release. "While our entire state felt the incalculable loss suffered so many years ago, the entire education community can now be an integral part of the ongoing healing process …" "
Brevard district officials say that there are no other events planned that day and that classes will take place as usual. Prior to Runcie's invitation, district staff did not know of any local plans to honor this anniversary.
Mullins sent an email to the directors this week, giving them the power to decide if they should attend and reminding them to keep the age of commemorative monuments appropriate.
At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student opened fire a year ago, Feb. 14 will be "a day of service and love" and not an academic day, according to a statement. Press. Students will participate in service projects throughout the day, including serving breakfast to first responders and preparing food for poor children.
The district encouraged all schools to choose a service project.
Mental health staff and therapy dogs will be on campus and available to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, as well as to district technical college students, who will provide manicures, massages and healthy cooking demonstrations.
According to NPR, many of Parkland's current and former students – who drew public attention after the shooting, who demand changes, who organize national marches and student protests – will remain relatively calm on this occasion. birthday and will withdraw from social media.
As in many communities, Brevard's students turned to activism after the Parkland shootout, staging a walk across the Gallie Water Causeway to call for tighter gun control and protests. in front of town halls to oppose the state-approved guard program that would have armed school employees. A month after the shooting, high school students joined others from across the country to come out of their classroom in homage to the victims of the shooting.
Brevard is one of the few counties in Florida to have seriously considered, and possibly considering, setting up a guardian program that would train school employees to carry guns on campus and respond to attacks. active shooters. The program has had supporters, including students, parents and teachers, as well as school board president Tina Descovich and sheriff Wayne Ivey.
The school board finally decided to drop the program and hire about 20 security guards to patrol elementary schools in the county that do not have officers responsible for school resources. All colleges and high schools in the district have SDOs under oath.
After five weeks of training with the sheriff's office, security agents were deployed to primary schools in October. The cost of training, equipment and a portion of instructors' salaries was covered by approximately $ 800,000 allocated by the state. The school district pays the salaries of security guards, for a total of about $ 1.2 million.
It is unclear whether the school board will review the program given the restructuring of the school board in November.
Earlier this year, the Parkland commission had recommended the state legislature to expand the guardian program to include teachers willing to volunteer. The Senate Committee on Education introduced legislation this week to make teachers eligible to participate in the program.
Caroline Glenn is FLORIDA 's education journalist TODAY' s HUI. Contact Glenn at 321-576-5933 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @bycarolineglenn and enjoy education at Florida Today on Facebook.