How things have changed since the Parkland school shooting four years ago

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Parkland shooting memorial, two years later (WINK News)

Monday marks four years since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed 17 people.

Now, WINK News looks into what has changed since then and what parents can do to protect their children better.

So much has changed since the 2018 Parkland shooting. Many schools have become safer, now equipped with more guards and stricter access. But, the task of hardening buildings in preparation for threats is far from complete.

David Thomas is a retired police officer and a professor of forensic science at FGCU. “One of the things that has to happen is that the teachers need to be more situationally aware of how their rooms are set up,” Thomas said. “They have to be situationally aware of how they block their doors so that the students have enough room to be able to hide on that.”

We asked Thomas if there is something that parents can do to better protect their children from incidents at school, especially with today’s easy access to technology.

“They need to pay attention to where their kids what they do on the Internet, what their social media sites are, the information that goes back and forth, they need to engage their kids,” said Thomas.

“You need to make an effort to make sure that you know something more than the facade of the face that you see on a daily basis,”  Thomas said.

According to Thomas, you never really know what is going on with someone else unless you’re actively engaged and asking tough questions. And, when it comes to privacy, he says kids aren’t always entitled to it.

“If you password protect something or you try to block them from doing stuff, you can actually see that they don’t. They’ll learn how to bypass that stuff. And if they don’t know, a friend knows,” said Thomas.

School is the safest place a child can be, but Thomas said it all starts with parents’ effort at home.

Florida government buildings, parks and other facilities will fly their flags at half-staff Monday in honor of the 14 students and three staff members killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre. Governor Ron DeSantis asked that all Floridians pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. on Monday.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.