A father who lost his daughter in the Parkland shooting just over a year ago is speaking out after a second survivor committed suicide over the weekend.
On Saturday, a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School died in an “apparent suicide,” according to the Miami Herald. He has not been publicly identified.
The sophomore was the second Parkland shooting survivor to take his life within a week.
On March 17, recent graduate Sydney Aiello took her own life after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the deadly shooting.
Aiello’s mother said her daughter lost a good friend in the shooting and had “survivor’s guilt,” Dearly reported.
Parent, Ryan Petty, lost his daughter, Alaina, in the Parkland shooting. Now, he’s warning that action needs to be taken in order to prevent more survivors from taking their own lives.
Petty is comparing the situation to the 1999 Columbine shooting, in which 12 students and a teacher lost their lives.
“We tried to get the warning out last year. Almost as many people died after Columbine has died during the event, and that was suicide.”
Local officials, including school district staff and law enforcement, met for an emergency meeting on Sunday, the Miami Herald reports.
The school district decided on giving parents the “Columbia Protocol,” a set of questions to ask at-risk students. Petty said:
“We lost 17 beautiful souls on Februrary 14 and… now it’s not only 18, it’s 19… The way to prevent number 20 is for parents to ask the questions: have you thought about killing yourself? … If they answer yes to those questions, they’re at risk and you need to get help.”
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One year ago today, 17 innocent lives were lost. February 14th, a day of love and happiness. As I was walking around during lunch Stoneman Douglas was being shot up. As I was walking into 6th period, students were lying on the cold floor dead already. I will never forget that. I’m beyond heart broken that we’ve officially reached the one year anniversary of the Parkland shooting, also known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Valentine’s Day will NEVER be the same for me or anyone in Parkland ever again for the rest of our lives. 17 innocent lives were taken when a mentally unstable former student walked onto school campus and opened gunfire. The gunfire lasted 6 minutes and 20 seconds. The 1200 building was forever changed. All of Parkland was forever altered. All of the US was forever altered. No student or teacher in that school that day deserved to see their teacher or classmates being shot, crying, and screaming for help at the top of their lungs. As the shooter shot into the glass window in the door, students on the 1st floor had no time whatsoever to take any type of cover, the 2nd floor was aware of the danger and tried to take cover fast. The 3rd floor wasn’t aware of the danger and all the students and teachers were going down the stairs due to the fire alarm. Students saw their friends, classmates, and teachers being shot, lying there on the cold floor helpless. 17 victims were later confirmed. Alyssa Alhadeff, Joaquin Oliver, Meadow Pollack, Jaime Guttenberg, Aaron Feis, Gina Montalto, Peter Wang, Martin Duque-Anguiano, Alaina Petty, Cara Loughran, Nicholas Dworet, Alex Schacter, Scott Beigel, Carmen Schentrup, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Peter Wang. #17victims #parklandshooting #parklandschoolshooting #floridashooting #floridaschoolshooting #fixit #wedemandchange #makeourschoolssafe #msdstrong #msds #msdhsstrong #parklandstrong #marjorystonemandouglas #marjorystonemandouglashighschool #stopviolence #stopshootings #stopschoolshootings #playfor8 #liveforalyssa #orangeribbonsforjaime
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Superintendent Robert Runcie told parents:
“During the Spring break, I encourage you to take time to speak with your children every day. Dinners are a great time for family conversation. We need to remove the stigma from talking about suicide.”
If you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.