SPRING HILL, Fla. (WFLA) – A father who lost his son in the Parkland school shooting delivered a powerful presentation Monday at the Hernando County School District’s annual Safety Summit.
“We’ve not taken our foot off the accelerator,” Max Schachter said. “We are still pushing. We are still implementing school safety measures.”
Schachter said while there is always room for improvement, Florida is leading the way in making necessary school safety changes.
He served on the state’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Commission, which investigated what went wrong during the 2018 mass shooting.
“I’ve made it my mission in life to do everything I could to prevent to the next Parkland and to educate law enforcement and school officials and parents about what happened here about the lessons that we learned,” Schachter said.
Schachter travels around the country to promote the best practices for preventing and preparing for a school shooting.
“When you have a wound by these high caliber weapons, if you don’t stop an artillery bleed within five minutes, your chances of survival are very, very minute,” Schachter shared.
Schachter complimented the Hernando school district for having “stop the bleed” kits in its schools but added that the kits need to be added throughout the Sunshine State.
“But that needs to happen more,” Schachter said. “It needs to happen throughout the state as well.”
He said an important lesson the state learned is to station an armed officer at every K-12 school.
“School resource officers have to be carefully selected and specially trained,” Schachter said. “They have to have a special skillset. They have to be good with kids. Obviously, they have to be trained on de-escalation.”
Moton Elementary School Principal Patty Martin said she plans to share what she learns at this week’s summit with her teachers.
“It’s so important to practice and be ready because you can never be prepared enough,” she said.
Schachter said the creation of threat assessment teams and the addition of mental health coordinators in each district are other changes Florida schools have made to become safer since Parkland.