'Stand with Parkland': 17 families of victims form organization to fight for change

Tony Montalto, the father of Gina Montalto, who died in the Parkland school shooting on Feb. 14, 2018.
Posted at 6:00 AM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 06:21:46-05

PARKLAND, Fla. — The 17 families going through the unfathomable loss of their loved ones in the Parkland school shooting are coming together not only to support each other but also to enact change.

PARKLAND ONE YEAR LATER: Click here for full coverage

Their goals are to prevent other families from suffering the same fate.

Many of the victims’ families started their own non-profits or scholarship funds on behalf of their children.

All 17 of them are part of one particular group using their unified voice for change.

Together the 17 families formed the organization “Stand with Parkland: The National Association of Families for Safe Schools.”

The group is advocating politically for their goals, which include the following:

  • Pushing for security enhancements at schools
  • Better mental health screening and support programs
  • Promoting responsible gun ownership like universal background checks

One of their most notable accomplishments early on was getting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act passed in Tallahassee.

“It’s unfortunate that it took the loss of our loved ones to have this voice but now that we’ve been given the voice, we want to use it to make other students and the staff members safe at school,” said Tony Montalto, whose daughter, Gina, died in the attack.

Stand with Parkland parents continue to meet with lawmakers and other groups to find common ground and compromises that would allow for major changes to be made to make students safer.