Trump briefs Parkland victims’ parents on school safety clearinghouse
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Trump briefs Parkland victims’ parents on school safety clearinghouse

Fred Guttenberg, who has fought for gun reform since daughter was killed in school shooting, not invited to meeting, says tool not enough to protect kids

Police officers are seen in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as law enforcement officials investigate the mass shooting that took place at the school, on February 17, 2018, in Parkland, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)
Police officers are seen in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as law enforcement officials investigate the mass shooting that took place at the school, on February 17, 2018, in Parkland, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)

JTA — US President Donald Trump briefed some family members of the victims of the school shooting in Parkland on a new tool to assist schools with safety practices.

One father said he was not invited to participate. Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie, 14, was killed in the South Florida shooting, was removed last week from Trump’s State of the Union address after yelling out in protest when the president spoke about gun rights.

The meeting comes days before the second anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students and staff dead.

The tool is a school safety clearinghouse website, which aims to provide educators, parents and law enforcement with information on ways to identify gaps in school security and apply for grants to fix the problems. It also deals with a host of other issues.

Among the parents at the meeting — members of the Stand With Parkland group — were three who lost children in the 2018 attack: Max Schachter, father of 14-year-old son Alex; Lori Alhadeff, mother of 14-year-old Alyssa; and Andrew Pollack, father of 18-year-old Meadow. All are Jewish.

Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jamie Guttenberg who was killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida., left, attempts to shake hands with Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 4, 2018 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Guttenberg, who later apologized for the State of the Union outburst, has been fighting for gun reform since the shooting as a way to keep his daughter’s memory alive. He said the clearinghouse is “a good step,” but it doesn’t deal with the issue of gun violence.

Pollack told The Associated Press that Guttenberg was not among the Parkland parents who pushed for the new clearinghouse.

A woman cries as she visits a makeshift memorial setup in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in memory of the 17 people that were killed on February 14, on February 21, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)

“I want every principal to go on this website,” Schachter told the Sun-Sentinel newspaper.

“You can have the key to everlasting life, but if nobody knows about it, it doesn’t do any good.”

A government act that has not yet been passed, named in part for Schachter’s son, will provide some funding for the clearinghouse and website.

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