June 28 (UPI) — Parents and family members of victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School formed a nonprofit group to push for school safety.
The organization, called Stand With Parkland, launched Thursday in an effort to push for new, bipartisan laws at the state and federal levels to help stop future school shootings.
“As the families who have suffered the loss of a loved one in this tragedy, we are banding together to do something about violence in our schools so that no other families have to experience the pain that we have had to endure,” the organization said on their website.
The group’s formation comes five months after Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at the Parkland, Fla., high school, opened fire on students and teachers — killing 14 students and three staff members.
“Parents everywhere want to know, ‘What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen in our communities and our schools and to our children?’” Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina was killed in the shooting, told Rolling Stone.
“Stand with Parkland, in my view, is an organization that’s aimed squarely at the American public with answers to those questions.”
The group is calling for enhanced school safety, mental health screening and support programs and “responsible” firearm ownership.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence welcomed the effort.
“The loss these parents have gone through is immense and unimaginable,” Kris Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign, said in a statement.
“We’re grateful that they would honor their children’s memories in a way that would prevent future tragedies, and we at Brady look forward to reaching out and working with them in any way we can.”