Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and parents who lost children at Marjory Stonemen Douglas were at Wednesday’s closed-door session.
“Even though we believe we know quite a bit, there is always something new to learn that enhances safety and security in our schools,” Carvalho said.
About 700 people attended the training put on by the Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center.
The topic: “How to best prevent a school shooting.”
“The Secret Service has identified what we need to do to prevent these acts of targeted violence in schools,” said Max Schachter, who lost his son, Alex, in the shooting at MSD. “After the Virginia Tech shooting they instituted threat assessments and that’s what we’ve done in our state as well.”
The main questions: “What should teachers and police look out for?” and “What should be done when warning signs are spotted?”
Mental health was also part of the discussion, including how to best get teachers, law enforcement and mental health professionals on the same page.
“It’s important to have the synergies and relationships built so they can move forward in times of crisis,” said Tony Montalto, whose daughter, Gina, died in the Parkland shooting.
“What we’ve learned from the Secret Service is these events are preventable, these tragedies are preventable,” said Ryan Petty, whose lost his daughter, Alaina. “People know about it beforehand. And if they’ll share that information with the relevant stakeholders, mental health counselors, a teacher, principal or law enforcement officer, we know we can stop these and prevent these.”
Miami is the third city to host the event, which was updated after the shooting at MSD claimed 17 lives.
“All school administrators and law enforcement need to prioritize safety and security of our children,” said Schachter. “Because if the kids and staff don’t come home every evening, nothing else matters.”
Carvalho said the district’s working relationship with the Secret Service goes back more than 40 years.
The superintendent told CBS4 that dozens of district personnel attended the two-day event.