Florida News

Student Survivors of Deadliest High School Shooting Take On Role of Gun Control Activists

They are angry. They are channeling their pain and stepping into the harsh spotlight of a heated and ongoing national debate. They are shielding their peers who feel too devastated to do the same.

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National News

Trump Says FBI Missed 'Signals' Of Florida School Shooting Because Of Russia Probe

President Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort tweeting about the Russia investigation after a federal grand jury on Friday indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies in connection with what prosecutors describe as a covert Russian campaign to help Trump win the presidency. Trump repeatedly asserted that his campaign didn't collude with anyone to win the 2016 election, but his reference to Wednesday's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in a bid to prop up his...

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Twitter

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. 

MEREDITH GEDDINGS / FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

As we enter the seventh week of Florida’s state-lawmaking session, our legislative roundtable series continues in a conversation with State Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, who represents Senate District 28 which covers portions of Collier, Hendry and Lee Counties.  We spoke with Sen. Passidomo the morning after last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County.  As the tragic shooting was occurring, Passidomo was working to secure funding for a measure (SB 1434) that would help Florida school districts to better identify and address mental health concerns in students early on.  We also explored her legislative efforts to address Florida’s affordable housing challenges, elder abuse, a proposed ban on marriages involving minors and an effort to establish a Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome pilot project in Southwest Florida to better serve the needs of babies born addicted to opiates and their families.  Plus, we explore a measure (SB 1402/ HB 7043) that aims to place a longstanding federal program protecting Florida’s freshwater wetlands under state control.  The bill is advancing rapidly in both legislative chambers despite concerns from environmental advocacy organizations.  Senior Environmental Policy Specialist with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Amber Crooks, joins us for a closer look.

Despite high graduation rates and increases in awarded degrees, a bill in the Senate looks to give Florida’s Community College System a governing facelift. This has led many community college leaders to warn of the unnecessary and unintended consequences that may result from such a bill. 

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.

They are angry. They are channeling their pain and stepping into the harsh spotlight of a heated and ongoing national debate. They are shielding their peers who feel too devastated to do the same.

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.

Since the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, alumni from around the country are coming back home.

They say in this painful moment for their community they have to be present.

Chelsea Tyrell graduated from Stoneman Douglas High in 2016. When she heard about the shooting at her alma mater she drove from the University of North Florida with her golden retriever.

"I thought I'd bring along my 6-year-old golden retriever who's certified as a therapy dog to just come out here if anyone needs any comfort," she said.

When James and Kimberly Snead took in Nikolas Cruz late last year, he was a socially awkward teenager lost in the world, depressed by the death of his beloved mother.

But to the Sneads, Cruz appeared to be progressing.

The young man who had been friendly with their son regularly attended adult-education classes, bicycled to his job as a cashier and watched TV shows with the family. Cruz hoped to become an infantry soldier. With the Sneads’ help, the emotionally troubled 19-year-old planned to resume mental-health therapy begun years earlier.

The parents of a suspect in the random shooting deaths of four people have showed up late for a civil contempt hearing in Florida and have been placed on house arrest after refusing to cooperate with prosecutors.

Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe ordered the confinement of Howell Donaldson Jr. and Rosita Donaldson on Friday. Their 24-year-old son, Howell Donaldson III, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the October and November shootings of four people in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood.

"When it comes to school violence, it's not a matter of if, but when."

That was the first line of an opinion column published in the Tallahassee Democrat two weeks before Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The writer was Bill Lee, president of the Florida Association of School Administrators.

His group wants more money for "Safe Schools," a state Department of Education program that handles student safety through a number of initiatives, particularly funding public school resource officers.

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