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Hundreds of students from around the state rallied at the Florida Capitol Wednesday. They joined Parkland students to promote their gun control cause and convince lawmakers to look into what they see as better policies.

Leona Rosado / Land O' Lakes student

While thousands of students were in Tallahassee Wednesday to push for stronger gun laws after last week’s shooting in a high school in Parkland, teenagers across Florida walked out of class in a show of solidarity.

As high school students who survived the shooting in Parkland, Fla., travel to the state Capitol to demand action on guns, lawmakers offered a glimpse of the battle they face.

In Tuesday's session, which opened with prayer for the community of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff were killed last week, Florida House lawmakers declined to open debate on a bill that would ban assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Parkland shooting photo: Leslie Ovalle, WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we’re hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable.

We talk with a panel of journalists about some of the major news stories impacting our state, including last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead, a Democratic upset in a special election for Sarasota’s open state house seat, and the Tampa Bay Rays potential move to Ybor City.


Students who survived the Parkland school shooting prepared to flood the Capitol on Wednesday, pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people and vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't persuade lawmakers to change laws before their legislative session ends.

Educators from across Florida are aiming to make schools safer in the wake of last week’s Parkland shooting. The Florida Department of Education hosted a roundtable Thursday to prevent future school massacres.

A group of law enforcement officials from across the state is looking into putting prevention methods in place to avoid another mass school shooting.

Miami-Dade County’s school system wants an extra $30 million this year from Florida to better prepare classrooms for a mass-shooting era — with bulletproof glass, advanced monitoring of social media and social workers trying to spot troubled students before they erupt in violence.

The requested state money would let Miami-Dade hire more police and mental-health workers, beef up school security with automatically locking doors and upgraded public announcement systems, and purchase software and hire staff to mine social media for potential threats.

Hundreds of students from West Boca Raton High School walked out of class Tuesday morning and headed toward Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to show solidarity with the students who lived through last week’s horror-filled shooting rampage.

At the request of Florida's governor, mental health experts, educators and law enforcement professionals met Tuesday in Tallahassee at workshops following last week’s school shooting.

The main goal of these gatherings is to identify measures that can be taken before the end of the legislative session to improve safety in schools, gun control and resources for mental health. The last day of the session is March 9.

A 15-year-old student who was shot five times during last week's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students.

A fundraising site says Anthony Borges was shot in both legs and his back while attempting to close and lock a classroom door last Wednesday. Seventeen people were killed.

After a major tragedy like the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, people offer condolences with the pledge to keep victims in their “thoughts and prayers.” But many have become disillusioned by the phrase.

The deadly shooting happened on Ash Wednesday, a day of repentance for many within the Catholic and Protestant Christian traditions. Religious leaders in South Florida say faith communities can offer more besides prayers.

​A second gun-related bill has been postponed in the Florida Senate in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school.

Peter Wang, a 15-year-old member of the Junior ROTC who was killed as he tried to help fellow students escape a mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., last week, has been posthumously admitted to the U.S. Military Academy.

Peter and two other freshman cadets, Martin Duque and Alaina Petty, both 14, were also awarded the Medal of Heroism — the highest medal given to Junior Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets.

Classmates and family said that Peter dreamed of attending West Point. The admission to the academy came on the same day as his funeral.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Following the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our monthly news roundtable. We'll talk with a panel of journalists about some of the latest news stories impacting our state including last week's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead.

After last week’s school shooting in Parkland that killed 17 people, a lot of focus has fallen on the home where the confessed shooter was living. WLRN spoke with the father of that family about the young man’s mental health issues – and about issues of gun ownership.

Shackled and wearing a red jump suit, school shooter Nikolas Cruz made his first live appearance in a Broward County circuit court five days after he walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and fatally shot 17 people in the worst school shooting in Florida history.

Cruz, a slightly built teen, did not say anything and never looked up at the crowd from his seat at the defense table. It was a tense atmosphere — Cruz was surrounded by Broward Sheriff’s deputies as media members and other lawyers watched from the gallery.

Lawmakers, Scott Weigh Options After Mass Shooting

Feb 20, 2018

A second gun-related bill has been postponed in the Florida Senate in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school, as legislative leaders craft a multi-pronged response to the massacre and Gov. Rick Scott plans a series of workshops about school safety and ways to keep guns away from people struggling with mental illnesses.

Gun Control Could Become Key Issue In November

Feb 20, 2018

An aversion to gun-rights restrictions has been a bedrock of Republican campaigns in Florida —  a testing ground for model NRA-backed legislation — for years.

Scott Calls Meetings On School Safety, Mental Health

Feb 20, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott’s office on Monday said a series of meetings will be held Tuesday in Tallahassee to address school-safety and mental-health issues after a mass shooting last week that killed 17 people at a Broward County high school.

After a gunman killed seventeen students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, many politicians Tweeted out their thoughts and prayers. A couple of Southwest Florida congressmen Tweeted those sentiments, but many people, including constituents, commented that thoughts and prayers aren't enough this time. 

Following last week’s mass school shooting, about 100 Parkland students are expected to come to Tallahassee this week to speak to Florida lawmakers about gun control. It comes just as an NRA-backed bill was withdrawn from consideration. But, some may see the student’s gun control views as a bit “naive.”

Sarasota County Schools

Officials with Sarasota County Schools are reaching out to the community for their thoughts and suggestions on how to improve the school's security in preparation for a meeting with Governor Rick Scott on Tuesday.

Barely 24 hours into the campaign, the district had already received nearly 400 responses.

Ponce de Leon Elementary School / Facebook

The Florida Parent Teacher Association will be holding a statewide candlelight vigil for the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting.

  

As South Florida reels from Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Broward County high school, State Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, is working to secure funding for Florida school districts to better identify and address mental health concerns in students early on. 

In the wake of the deaths of 17 people from a shooting at a Broward High School, people are once again focusing on school safety. Administrators and elected officials alike are pushing for more funding to shore up infrastructure, but some are beginning to wonder if that’s enough.

Governor Rick Scott is calling on the FBI Director to resign after the agency didn’t take action on information received about the 19-year-old who killed 17 people at a South Florida High School.

State lawmakers are facing renewed pressure to pass gun control legislation following last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — and the Legislature is only scheduled to be in session for another two and a half weeks after it returns from the Presidents' Day recess.

State Sen. Gary Farmer, who represents nearby Fort Lauderdale, is pushing the Legislature’s Republican leadership to hear bills he and his Democratic colleagues have introduced in past years.

The warnings around Nikolas Cruz seemed to flash like neon signs: expelled from school, fighting with classmates, a fascination with weapons and hurting animals, disturbing images and comments posted to social media, previous mental health treatment.

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