Parkland victim’s father speaks to Bay County administrators

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LYNN HAVEN Fla. — Alex Schachter loved to play the trombone, but his life and sixteen others were ripped away in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.

Alex’s father, Max, has put his life on hold since the shooting to speak about his experience all over the country, including at the annual Superintendent’s Summit. 

“I hope he’s looking down on me and saying, ‘Dad you’re doing a good thing,'” said Schachter. 

On Thursday, Schachter spoke to Bay District Schools administrators and support staff about what they can do to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. 

“Schools around this country don’t think it’s going to happen to them,” said Schachter. “But this can happen in your district, and we need to pay attention, and we need to prioritize safety and security of our students.”

He says better code red policy and training, police communication, immediate notification of threats, and stop-the-bleed training can help to prepare for and even prevent shootings nationwide. 

The presentation came one day after former deputy Scot Peterson, the school security officer who allowed the shooting to occur while he took cover, was arrested on seven counts of felony child neglect, three counts of culpable neglect and one count of perjury. He faces up to ninety-six and a half years in prison.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford says his deputies are trained to meet this deadly mission.

“Our active shooter policy does say they shall go in and address that,” said Ford. “We train them to that level.”

While Bay County has many measures in place to protect students, Superintendent Bill Husfelt says they must always be prepared. 

“You don’t get to pick the time and place a tragedy occurs,” said Husfelt. “We just need to be wide open and paying attention to everything around us.”

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