A father of one of the victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting delivered an impassioned speech at one of the March for our Lives events on Saturday, begging for better safety measures in schools.
Father of Parkland school shooting victim Alex Schachter at #MarchForOurLives rally: "There are simple things that we can do, easy things that we can do, so that all children are not afraid to go to school." https://t.co/gDkD6Rw9aj pic.twitter.com/gdKScKygzF— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 24, 2018
Max Schachter spoke at the March For Our Lives in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed on Feb. 14 when a former student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a legally purchased AR-15 assault riffle. He was close to tears as he described his son, Alex, and his untimely death in the tragedy.
"Alex's death could have been prevented," he declared. "All the 17 beautiful angels' [lost] lives could have been prevented. Alex was mortally wounded by gunshots that came through his classroom door while he was working on an English paper with three of his friends. That monster never entered Alex's classroom," Schachter said, his voice nearly breaking.
"If the doors had just been bulletproof -- and the windows -- Alex, and many others, would still be alive today. The mission of this foundation is to create a blueprint, a standard, for all schools to make our children safe. We created a fire code to make children safe, so they did not die in a fire, and we were successful. No child has died in a fire in 50 years. Why don't we have safe school standards?"
"There are simple things that we can do, easy things that we can do, so that all children are not afraid to go to school," he said.
Schachter has been one of the most active members of the Parkland community following the Valentine's Day tragedy. According to a report by the Sun Sentinel, he was recently named to a new state panel that will investigate the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High. Despite his incalculable grief, Schachter has spoken at other events and given a number of interviews in the last five weeks in the hopes of honoring his son and making something constructive out of his loss.
He told the outlet about his son's skills as a writer, and revealed the touching moment when he had recovered Alex's phone to discover his younger daughter had sent concerned texts to her big brother.
"I got Alex's phone back. I was looking through it and I saw that my daughter Avery had been texting Alex … During the event, and even after the event, you know? She's like reaching out to him. Communicating with him," Schachter said. "Avery loved Alex. It's just so sad."
Alex hadn't responded to any messages during the shooting. "No, he had his phone in his pocket," Max Schachter said. "His teacher had yelled at him about taking his phone out in class. He was a good boy."