Parkland father reflects on Texas mass shooting

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 7:21 PM EDT
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A father who lost his daughter in the 2018 Parkland school massacre shared his thoughts and reflected on the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that claimed the lives of at least 19 children and two adults.

Tony Montalto, the president of the Stand With Parkland organization, spoke with WFLX anchor Michael Williams and shared his grief about Tuesday’s tragedy.

"All of us here at Stand With Parkland and the National Association of Families for Safe Schools are saddened to hear about the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas," Montalto said. "We know all too well the devastation that many of the families there are feeling this evening as they learn of the loss, the murder, of their child or their loved ones at the school."

Montalto, who lost his daughter Gina Rose Montalto during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, said the agony from her death is something that he still feels today.

"It's a pain that I'm sorry to say I have not found a way to get over, and I don't think they ever will either," Montalto said.

He said that Florida has made "great strides" since the Parkland shooting to secure schools and praised state lawmakers and the support from former Gov. Rick Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

However, he said more still needs to be done at a federal level to protect students.

"We need Congress to stop stalling on some bills that will help us, among them are the Eagles Act," Montalto said. "The Eagles Act is named after the mascot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. That bill will provide increased funding to the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center to study the prevention of school shootings, to provide more training out in the districts."

He said America's students and teachers deserve to be safe at schools.

"If you're frustrated, if you've had enough, we need to come together, all Americans, we need to band together," Montalto said. "Support pragmatic policy changes and law changes that are going to help make us all safer."

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