Max Schachter, whose 14-year-old son was killed during the 2018 mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, said he’s heartbroken after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blocked a school safety bill named after his son Wednesday.
After the horrific mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., asked for the Luke and Alex School Safety Act to be passed by unanimous consent. Schumer objected to Johnson’s request, claiming on Twitter that the bill “could see more guns in schools.”
The bill, named after Alex Schachter and Luke Hoyer, another Parkland, Florida, shooting victim, would require the Department of Homeland Security to establish a “Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety Best Practices” for use by state and local educational and law-enforcement agencies, institutions of higher education, health professionals, and the public. And it would require DHS to “collect clearinghouse data analytics, user feedback on the implementation of best practices and recommendations identified by the clearinghouse, and any evaluations conducted on these best practices and recommendations.”
The clearinghouse, which is already available at SchoolSafety.gov, would be codified into law with the bill’s passage.
Multiple Republicans, including Johnson, have accused Schumer of lying about the contents of bill.
Schachter, whose son was one of 17 people murdered more than four years ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said Schumer’s tweet is “completely false.”
“How does a website put guns in schools? It’s ridiculous,” Schachter told Fox News Digital in an interview. “It has nothing to do with guns. It’s just a website of best practices. It doesn’t mandate anything.”
“I thought that after 19 children and two teachers were just murdered in Uvalde, Texas, partisan politics will be put aside and that families might at least have some positive news out of Congress from their elected leaders,” he said. “I was naive to think that a horrible mass shooting would make people do the right thing. And unfortunately, you know, he didn’t. He blocked it.”
“It’s heartbreaking,” he added.
SCHUMER BLOCKS SENATE GOP SCHOOL SAFETY BILL, ANGERING REPUBLICANS
In his tweet, Schumer said “real solutions” are needed after the Uvalde shooting, citing the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which passed the House last week after the Buffalo mass shooting that killed 10 people.
On the Senate floor Wednesday, Schumer said the school safety bill could be considered if Republicans agreed to debate on the domestic terrorism bill. A vote on the domestic terrorism bill failed along party lines Thursday, with all Republicans voting against.
Schachter accused Schumer of holding the school safety bill “hostage” so he could use it as “leverage” on the domestic terrorism bill.
“Everybody and their brother would have told you that the GOP was going to block it, which they did today. And so now where are we?” Schachter said.
“After Parkland, a lot of the parents went in different directions,” he continued. “I chose to go toward school safety, because I thought that it was nonpartisan and bipartisan. And then to see that it just went that same way of all these other issues is really defeating.”
“I blame both parties,” he added. “The Republicans don’t want to give the Democrats a win, but the Democrats don’t want to give the Republicans a win either. And then who suffers? The American people. It’s ridiculous. They should do their damn job.”
Schachter appeared on NewsNation’s “Morning in America” earlier Thursday, saying he came up with the idea for a federal school safety clearinghouse because school districts after the Parkland shooting received so much duplicative and conflicting information on best practices from federal agencies that made it confusing and ineffective. The website instead creates a “one-stop shop,” he said, and the bill would make it law.