The father of a Florida shooting victim urged U.S. President Donald Trump to bolster school safety during a meeting at the White House. The bereaved parent, who indicated that he was not interested in stricter gun regulations, asserted that lawmakers had failed to protect students across the nation (video below).
On Feb. 14, a gunman named Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Among the victims was 18-year-old Meadow Jade Pollack, a senior who planned to attend Lynn University after she graduated.
On Jan. 21, the White House hosted several members of the Parkland community and families that were impacted by other incidents of gun violence. Trump sat and listened to attendees express their grief and propose policy initiatives to address mass shootings, The New York Times reports.
Andrew Pollack, Meadow’s father, addressed the president during the listening session. The grieving father, flanked by his sons, said that rate of school shootings was unacceptable.
“We’re here because my daughter has no voice — she was murdered last week, and she was taken from us, shot nine times,” Pollack said. “How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here, with this administration and me, because I’m not going to sleep until it’s fixed.”
Pollack’s voice grew angry as he noted that the Parkland massacre was one of many mass shootings that had occurred on campuses.
“It should have been one school shooting, and we should have fixed it — and I’m pissed,” Pollack continued. “Because my daughter, I’m not going to see again.”
While several survivors of the Parkland shooting have called for stricter gun laws to address mass shootings, Pollack asserted that the focus should be on campus security.
“It’s not about gun laws right now — that’s another fight, another battle,” Pollack said. “We need our children safe.”
On the day of the shooting, Pollack and his wife searched for Meadow at the Broward Health North hospital. They did not learn her status that evening.
“We can’t locate her. I keep looking at my phone,” Pollack, garbed in a Trump campaign shirt, told the Palm Beach Post. “I don’t know where to go from here.”
The anxious parents learned the next morning that Meadow was dead.
On Feb. 16, mourners gathered for Meadow’s funeral at a local synagogue in Parkland. Pollack expressed grief for his daughter and rage at Cruz during the ceremony.
“You killed my kid,” Pollack said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “‘My kid is dead’ goes through my head all day and all night. I keep hearing it over and over.”
Pollack said he felt helpless in the wake of the tragedy.
“This is just unimaginable to think I will never see my princess again,” the grieving father concluded. “This piece of s*** killed my kid, and I couldn’t do anything about it. That’s never happened to me in my life. I’m always able to protect my family in any situation.”