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Trump a Year After Parkland Shooting: 'Ensure Evil Does Not Stalk Our Children'

Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the one-year anniversary of the school shooting Feb. 14, 2019, in Parkland, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

WASHINGTON — President Trump marked the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., by stressing “a sacred vow to do everything in our power to ensure that evil does not stalk our children on the playgrounds or in the hallways of our nation’s schools.”

Seventeen people were killed in the attack. A former student, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

Trump recalled the listening session with stakeholders that the administration convened at the White House after the mass shooting.

“Carson Abt, a survivor and now a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, suggested that we need to ensure that all schools have the resources necessary to institute active shooter protocols and drills. Julia Cordover, another Parkland survivor, asked that my administration take action to ban bump stocks.  Alaya Barnett, a student at Friendship Technology Preparatory Academy in Washington, D.C., suggested improvements to counseling services for victims of bullying. And Sandy Hook mom Nicole Hockley urged enactment of the STOP School Violence Act, which authorizes $1 billion over the next ten years to prevention programs and reporting systems nationwide,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House.

“We have made tremendous strides. One month after that important meeting, I signed the STOP School Violence Act and Fix NICS Act into law. The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services began the process of expanding health and other services to low-income public elementary and secondary schools,” he added. “The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation also convened a School Safety Summit that discussed how to better identify troubled students, conduct threat assessments, and institute anonymous reporting systems. Additionally, my administration has completed a regulatory process, which it had started in October of 2017, to ban bump stocks.”

The Senate today passed a resolution from Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) stating that the upper chamber “commemorates the victims killed in the attack and offers heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the families, loved ones, and friends of the victims, honors the survivors and pledges continued support for their recovery, recognizes the strength and resilience of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community, [and] expresses gratitude to the emergency medical and health care professionals of the Parkland community for their efforts in responding to the attack and caring for the victims and survivors.”

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), who district includes Parkland, marked the anniversary by reintroducing legislation to raise the minimum age requirement to buy any gun from federally licensed dealers from 18 to 21.

He also has joined Reps. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), and Don Beyer (D-Va.) to introduce the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which encourages states to allow family members or law enforcement officials to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from an individual determined to be unfit.