South Florida school officials, public figures and residents responded Friday following the shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school that authorities said left more than two dozen people dead.
Following are some of their statements:
Sharon Glickman of the Broward Teachers Union:
“Our thoughts are with the teachers, support staff, parents and students of Sandy Hook Elementary School in wake of this morning’s tragic shooting. Today’s incident reminds us of how important our public schools are and how precious our fellow colleagues and students are to us no matter where they teach and learn. As school and community members, we must all work together to remain vigilant in making sure our schools remain safe havens against senseless violence so student achievement can continue unimpeded. Especially during this holiday season, our prayers go out to all of the victims and their families.”
Broward County Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie:
“Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the families of the Newtown, Connecticut community. The safety of our students is our highest priority. The district has safety measures in place to facilitate a safe teaching and learning environment. We continuously review our security protocols for our school campuses.”
Miami-Dade County Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho:
”A random act of violence is extremely difficult to prevent, particularly when it is perpetrated by an individual with mental illness. Preparedness and response protocols are key. Miami-Dade has a comprehensive Critical Incident Response plan that involves scenario enactment, lockdown and evacuation drills, as well as joint training exercises between school police and local police in our schools. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Newtown community after this unspeakable tragedy.”
Florida Senator Marco Rubio:
"My heart breaks for the victims and families impacted by the senseless act of violence today in Newtown, Connecticut. In a world that can at times be defined by its darkness, children are a reminder of what is good, cheerful and beautiful about life. An act of violence against these defenseless young people, as well as the faculty and staff who dedicate themselves daily to educating and caring for them, is a deed of unconscionable evil. I pray that God holds Newtown close tonight as all of her residents come to terms with this tragedy."