Parents of Parkland shooting victims run for school board in South Florida

With the goal of preventing another tragedy, the parents of two 14-year-old girls shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February are seeking election to the Broward County School Board.

Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was among the 17 people killed in the Valentine’s Day massacre, and Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina also died, filed paperwork Tuesday to run for the school board.

The parents are running “in order to continue their fight for improved school safety, increased transparency and increased accountability in Broward Schools in order to ensure a quality education,” a press release announcing their candidacy said.

“I have had a lifelong passion for children and education,” said Alhadeff, who has a master’s degree in education and who once worked as a physical education teacher and coach in New Jersey.

Nikolas Cruz has been charged with premeditated murder in the shooting deaths of 14 students and three faculty and staff members. Seventeen others were injured in the attack, one of the worst school shootings in the nation’s history.

Petty, a technology entrepreneur who once held an executive position at ADT and who played an active role in the passage of a sweeping school-safety law in March, said he is running to honor his daughter’s memory.

“The school board is entrusted with governing our community's public schools and, right now, the school board isn’t working for us,” Petty said in the release. “As a school board member, I intend to ask the tough questions and hold all accountable, in order to ensure that we are giving our kids, teachers and parents the right resources and tools to do their job and ensure a quality education.”

The parents have formed a political committee, Broward Parents for Better and Safer Schools, to support their campaigns.

Petty is running against incumbent school board member Donna Korn and another candidate, while Alhadeff is running against incumbent Abby Freedman, who represents Parkland, according to the Broward County Supervisor of Elections’ website.

Freedman has not yet filed re-election paperwork, according to the website.

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