Politics

Father of Parkland Victim Slams Nancy Pelosi for Panning School Safety Report

He told the House Democratic leader, 'It's painful for us when you dismiss it without basis in fact'

Image Credit: Facebook, Ryan Petty and Shutterstock

Ryan Petty, the father (shown above left) of one of the teenagers killed in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting earlier this year, slammed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday night after she panned the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Commission on School Safety report that victims’ families helped shape.

The Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School spurred gun control activists — led by some of the survivors and some of the victims’ families — to renew their pressure on Congress to pass gun control legislation.

Largely in response to the Parkland massacre, the school safety commission issued a 177-page report on Tuesday “detailing 93 best practices and policy recommendations for improving safety at schools across the country.”

“Each of us has an important role to play in keeping our students safe while at school,” the chair of the Federal Commission on School Safety and U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Through the commission’s work, it has become even clearer there is no single policy that will make our schools safer.”

“What will work for schools in Montana will be different than what will work for schools in Manhattan,” DeVos added. “With that in mind, this report provides a wide-ranging menu of best practices and resources that all state, community, and school leaders should consider while developing school safety plans and procedures that will work for their students and teachers.”

But the report — much to the chagrin of many gun control activists — emphasized “supporting the social and emotional well-being of students” and “enhancing physical building security” more than any gun control measures to improve school safety.

The Department of Education is also rescinding Obama-era school discipline policies in an effort to prevent violence in schools.

Pelosi vented her displeasure on Tuesday on Twitter, writing, “[email protected] & @BetsyDeVosED have reached a new low. Their ‘report’ on school safety puts special interests and the NRA ahead of protecting America’s school children. Students & parents have had #Enough. It’s time for the GOP to stop ignoring them.”

“The new Democratic [House] Majority will take decisive action to protect students from gun violence & keep schools free from discrimination. #NeverAgain,” Pelosi added.

But Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina Petty died in the Parkland shooting, rebuked Pelosi on Twitter late Tuesday night for her dismissal of the school safety report.

“Hi @NancyPelosi, it’s easy to be a critic. Harder to create. Would you sit down with Parkland families to discuss the report? We worked hard to ensure this report addresses top school safety priorities. It’s painful for us when you dismiss it without basis in fact,” Petty wrote.

Alaina Petty was 14 when she died. Her father worked with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and outgoing Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) to pass the STOP School Violence Act.

Related: Say ‘Trained Professionals,’ Not ‘Armed Teachers,’ Parkland Dad Tells Trump

Petty wants improved school safety measures in the wake of the Parkland school shooting.

He told Morning Education that the new report is “the most complete look at school safety that the federal government’s ever put together.”

Max Schachter and Andrew Pollack, also fathers of Parkland shooting victims, appeared with Petty at the White House with President Donald Trump on Tuesday for the report’s unveiling.

“Thank you @realDonaldTrump for listening and taking action to make the children and teachers safer and quality of education to a higher level #fixit,” Pollack tweeted Wednesday.

Pollack’s son, Hunter, also replied to Pelosi’s criticism on Twitter, writing, “The Obama era policies, that @realdonaldtrump just reversed, were the reason my sister was killed in Parkland. You have no idea what you are talking about. #FixIt.”

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