May 31, 2022 Updated 1:52 P.M. ET
(FLV) – Andrew Pollack urges parents to advocate for hardening their children’s schools after the recent Texas elementary school massacre where 19 kids and 2 teachers died.
Pollack unfortunately experienced this loss and pain when his daughter, Meadow, died in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland that killed 17 people.
“It angers me that it happened again. It was avoidable. 100% avoidable. Like a lot of these school shootings, human error,” Pollack told Florida’s Voice.
Just hours after the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting occurred, President Joe Biden questioned the access to “assault weapons” and urged Americans to “stand up to the industry.” The President said “we have to act” and pass “commonsense” gun laws.
“When you focus on gun control, it takes away from what we could really do with hardening the schools,” Pollack said. “There’s 300 million guns in the country. I don’t think looking at that is going to make a difference.”
Pollack wrote a book called “Why Meadow Died” and is a spokesperson for Byrna Technologies which provides “non-lethal” self defense gun products.
He worked with Florida lawmakers to pass legislation providing more security for schools after the Parkland shooting.
He advocates for schools to have perimeter fencing, a single point entry, security checkpoints for parents to show identification when picking up their kids, and armed security at schools.
“You need to have armed security at the school, not just one. Plain clothes,” Pollack said.
He applauded Florida’s Guardian Program, originally created in Polk County, which allows certain armed and trained people to protect students at schools, including teachers.
“There’s a curriculum. It’s very intense for these guardians that go through his school. I’ve seen it personally. Even if a teacher wants to volunteer, they should be allowed to go through this program where they can be armed also,” Pollack said.
Training school staff members to have best practices in place for potential threats is critical as well.
“It’s up to the parents to really go and find out if the school is taking it seriously and doing it,” he explained.
One of Pollack’s main focus includes educating and encouraging parents to put their kids in schools that are safe.
“You do everything you can to send them to a private school, because you never hear about any of these shootings in a private school,” he explained. “They take security very seriously.”
But if that is not an option, he urges parents to get involved with their local school boards to “harden” the schools.
“And that’s what it’s about for me, educating parents. Kids don’t vote,” Pollack said. “I just want their safety.”
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