Parkland father: 'Who cares about the education if they're not safe?'
TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - For Andrew Pollack, the date February 14 holds no meaning.
"I don't need a day to remind me. I live it. Every day I live my daughter's death," Pollack said.
As the anniversary of the Parkland mass shooting nears, he’s reflecting on the progress since his daughter Meadow, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was killed.
“We got that bipartisan bill passed like three weeks after my daughter was murdered," he said.
That bill, signed by then-Governor Rick Scott on March 9, raised the age to buy a rifle to 21 years old and created a three-day waiting period to buy a gun.
“There’s going to be more money for mental health, more money for hardening of the schools, and every school has to have an armed guard per 1,000 students," he said.
But that was something the Sarasota County School District couldn't afford. So last fall, board members decided to create their own police force. They also installed bulletproof glass in front offices and panic buttons to alert first responders.
Several county school districts, from Hillsborough to Sarasota, held mass shooting drills over the summer to prepare for the new school year.
Weeks ago, legislation was introduced to include teachers in the Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which trains and arms school staff. The program is named after the school's football coach, who died tried to shield students from gunfire.
"Anyone who wants to volunteer and go through this extensive training would be an asset to any school and an insurance policy for any parent to know these people are trained and working at the schools when they drop their kids off," Pollack continued.
Pollack says these are small steps in the right direction.
"What good is an education if you can't pick your kids up at the end of the day, if they're dead in the school?" he asked. "Who cares about the education if they're not safe?"