Blood stains, broken glass and Valentine’s gifts were left behind at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Everything is as it was the day of the mass shooting nearly six years ago. That’s what hit Lee County school board member Debbie Jordan when she walked the halls with the victims’ parents earlier in October.
Jordan was invited by Max Schachter, who lost his son, Alex Schachter, in the shooting.
When Jordan was invited to tour building 1200 of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, preserved as the day 17 students and staff were killed in the deadliest high school shooting in the history of the United States, she didn’t know what to think.
“It took some convincing of myself to go, you know,” said Jordan. “But I just felt that it was something that we really needed to do.”
It’s a devastating day to remember for Schachter after losing his son in the high school shooting.
“Alex played the trombone in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Eagle regiment marching band,” said Schachter. “He loved Nutella crepes, and he loved music.”
Alex, 14, was in his English class when he was killed.
“There’s nothing worse than what we’re going through, and it’s hard every day,” said Schachter.
Alex Schachter (right) picture at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. CREDIT: WINK News
Schachter told WINK News he never wanted another parent to feel that pain. That’s why he decided to share his pain with the world, hoping leaders like Jordan from all over the country would spread the word about what happened.
“I couldn’t save Alex that day,” Schachter said, “but what I can do is bring people through the buildings so that other children will be saved and schools will be saved all over the country.”
Jordan said the things she saw and heard would stay with her forever.
“You’re walking over the shattered glass. It was shot through and going into the classrooms,” said Jordan. “You’re looking at them and reading all the hopes and dreams that they had. And then– sorry. It’s just very hard as a parent or grandparent or just anybody because now you feel like you know those kids.”
Still, Jordan is grateful to Schachter and the other parents for helping her see the lessons learned from their heartbreak.
“It’s just amazing how many mishaps there were when they take you through this,” said Jordan.
Jordan explained it validated the safety measures the district put into place in the past few years.
“When I walk in our schools, I feel safe,” said Jordan.
And while she said safety will always be top of mind, she feels good about the state of our schools.
“I pray that every day that, you know, nothing would ever take place here, but I have full confidence in the people that we have that work in the district,” said Jordan.