New School Safety Resource Launched by Parkland Parent in Florida

Max Schachter, a parent from Parkland, along with the University of Florida, has introduced a new school safety dashboard in Florida. This resource aims to provide comprehensive information about public school safety for everyone.

Max was motivated to create this dashboard after his son Alex tragically lost his life in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018. Determined to prevent such tragedies in the future, Max founded the organization Safe Schools for Alex.

The organization has two main initiatives. Firstly, it offers free online music lessons to middle school band students in Title 1 schools. Secondly, it focuses on providing best practices for school safety.

Over the past two and a half years, Max collaborated with Chris Curran, an associate professor at the University of Florida, to develop this new school safety dashboard.

Chris describes it as the most robust and comprehensive dashboard in the nation, aggregating data from various sources, including the Department of Education and Department of Juvenile Justice.

Max emphasizes that the dashboard serves as a vital tool for parents, allowing them to understand the safety situation in their children’s schools easily. Users can access information about incidents of bullying, violence, drugs, and even the number of weapons reported in each school.

Users can compare data between different schools and districts, enabling them to identify trends and areas for improvement. Max and Chris hope that this resource will facilitate proactive measures to enhance student and staff safety.

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They acknowledge that the accuracy of the dashboard depends on school districts’ reporting to the Department of Education. Nevertheless, they believe it will prompt important discussions among parents, schools, and legislators on improving school safety.

Funded in part by a Stop School Violence grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the dashboard will be continuously updated with new data. Max emphasizes the importance of ensuring that students and staff feel safe and make it home every day.

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