In less than a week, two survivors of the Parkland High School terrorist attack took their own lives, because this is what we deem to be the price of the Second Amendment.
After a second Parkland shooting survivor died by suicide in a week’s span, Florida’s emergency chief is calling for the state Legislature to dispatch more mental health resources for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community.
On Saturday night, a Parkland sophomore took his own life, according to Coral Springs police. A week before, a former student whose best friend died in last year’s massacre took her life.
“Now is the time for the Florida Legislature to help,” said Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s emergency management director and a former state representative from Parkland.
“Mental health is a bipartisan issue,” he posted on Twitter.
Meanwhile, local leaders are taking steps of their own.
On Sunday afternoon, more than 60 school, county, city, child services and law enforcement officials, as well as mental health specialists, teachers and parents, met for an emergency meeting.
Parents who attended the meeting said the Broward County School Superintendent’s Office is working to reach every parent in the district via text, email, social media and robo calls.
“They will be asking parents to take this issue seriously,” said Ryan Petty, father of Alaina Petty, a 14-year-old freshman who was one of 17 people murdered on Feb. 14. 2018. “Parents cannot be afraid to ask their kids the tough questions.”
Petty said the school district will be giving parents the “Columbia Protocol,” a set of six questions to ask their children. Based on their answers, they will be given several emergency resource options. Several nonprofits are also dispatching therapy groups that will offer free services.
“During the Spring break, I encourage you to take time to speak with your children every day. Dinners are a great time for family conversation,” said Superintendent Robert Runcie. “We need to remove the stigma from talking about suicide.”
I've been in the depths of despair to the point where I've considered hurting myself. We've all had dark thoughts once in a while, and it's important to know that there is help out there. A friend of mine saved me from acting precipitously on those thoughts back then and I'll always be grateful to him.
But to go through the awful trauma of a mass school shooting and to live to see your country rise up in sheer hatred against you for saying "this is wrong"?
Nobody should have to go through that.