Rick Scott: Texas School Shooting Shows the Need to Create a Federal School Safety Clearinghouse

On Wednesday, following the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., spoke on the Senate floor in support of the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, a bill that would create a Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety Best Practices to help schools and their faculty, parents and community officials identify school safety measures and resources for implementing them.

Scott first introduced the legislation in November 2019 with U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla. The bill continues to face problems in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Scott said the following:

When I heard the horrific news from Uvalde, Texas yesterday, I immediately thought of two things: my grandchildren – most of whom are in elementary school – and the 17 lives we lost in Parkland, Florida four years ago. Our hearts are shattered. The loss of these small children – 19 children all just in fourth grade – and two teachers is infuriating and heart wrenching. I can’t imagine losing a child or a loved one.

Unfortunately, there are 17 families in Florida who don’t have to imagine it – they know that pain and live with it every day. There is seldom a day that goes by that I don’t think about the families that lost their children and loved ones that day. No community should feel the pain that families in Parkland and Uvalde now feel.

We’ll never be able to prevent every vicious crime, but we can and must act. There are solutions to be found at the state level, and the federal level – and today we can take action in the Senate to make our schools safer.

I want to thank Senator Johnson for leading this bill, and Senator Rubio for his strong support of this legislation and other efforts to keep our kids safe. This bill – the Luke and Alex School Safety Act – is named in honor of Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter. Luke and Alex were taken from us in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.

Since that horrible day, I’ve worked closely with many of the victims’ family members as Governor and now as Senator to do everything possible so that no child, educator, or family has to experience that again. There is clearly more work to do.

This legislation, the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, codifies a federal school safety clearinghouse. By informing parents and educators on expert recommendations and best practices that schools can implement to improve school security, this bill builds on our work to keep schools safe and prevent another tragedy.

Today, we can get something done that creates safer schools for our kids and teachers. I appreciate the work of Senators Johnson, Rubio and all our colleagues. As we continue to pray for Uvalde and the families that have suffered this tremendous loss, I urge the Senate to pass this good bill and take a step in the right direction that keeps our kids and teachers safe.

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