So. Fla. schools commemorate Sandy Hook massacre
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Hundreds of students and faculty gathered outside Miami-Dade Public Schools' administration building Tuesday morning to remember the victims of last Friday's Sandy Hook massacre.
A moment of silence at 9:40 a.m. marked the moment the shootings in Newtown, Conn. started the morning of Dec. 14. Song and prayer set the tone for a somber service, with undertones of policy and best practices. "Our elementary schools are supposed to be safe havens for learning and for growing," Miami-Dade School Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman said as she read from a written statement.
Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho revealed the department spent the past weekend working on evacuation drills, so that teachers and students are better prepared in the event of a school shooting. "We went through all the protocols, ensuring that the lockdown drills and procedures are in place," Carvalho said.
Local students went about their daily activities, but they are also taking a moment to reflect and remember the casualties at Sandy Hook. Students at Monsignor Pace High School in Miami Gardens said a prayer in every class today in the hopes that they will comfort the relatives of the Newtown victims.
In Broward County, school officials gathered for a remembrance service and then evaluated their action plan following the shooting. "In reality, we cannot put a police officer in every home, business or parking lot, but in reality we can put a police officer in every school," said Broward Public Schools Chief David Golt. "Whose responsibility is it to fund this program? Therein lies the dilemma," he added.
Parents and students across South Florida experienced confusion and concern on the first full day of school since the Newtown school shootings. Some parents even considered keeping their kids home this week. "We need more security, more protection for our kids," said parent Tiffany Willliams.
Carvalho sent a letter to local and state leaders inviting to meet with him on Jan. 17 to discuss the implementation of measures to improve school safety. "Our goal is to not compromise security in our schools," Carvalho said.
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