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they're waiting for their turn to die as the syrian government ignores calls for a ceasefire. we cannot protect their. children. students converge on florida state capitol and washington d.c. calling for gun reform. the population living in fear of the u.n. warns of a humanitarian disaster in the democratic republic of congo. and it's revolutionizing the way we live but experts say artificial intelligence is increasingly being used for malicious purposes. from wash our top story in sport america in vivaan concludes this area and then pick out pious king by winning downhill bronze at n.p.r. .
well despite growing condemnation syrian government bombs continue to rain down on the rebel held this strict of east and near damascus more than three hundred people have been killed since sunday and all indications are that this is the beginning the bombardment involves as strikes rockets shelling and barrel bombs a crude on guided device filled with explosives and sometimes shrapnel an oil according to medical school says eight hospitals were attacked on tuesday alone other civilian buildings have also been attacked like bakeries targeted to costal food sources and syria's government seems intent on a bigger operation as a whole there are reports it's feared a ground offensive is next. there is no frontline in eastern huta. residential neighborhoods have become battlegrounds the syrian government and its allies are bombing the besieged rebel enclave into submission. the suburb of
damascus is under attack well look. we heard a plane overhead hit the myside landed people were torn into pieces i was with my nephew and we were both injured or i heard was the sound of an ambulance and i found myself here hundreds killed hundreds more injured the united nations says makeshift hospitals are being hit some are now out of service there is a humanitarian crisis and there is nowhere to hide. there is no safe place i tried to convince my parents to say in the first floor of our building thinking it would be safer but they told me there's no difference because buildings are being flattened in the strikes. the government military reinforcements to the front lines around the besieged enclave the pro-government newspaper says the bombing campaign comes ahead of what it said will be a vast operation which may start on the ground at any time.
the thousands of rebels there are promising to repel any advance a ground offensive will not be easy the government and its allies have repeatedly tried to storm in the past the rebels have strong defenses and an underground tunnel network that they use to their advantage. for the syrian government and its allies a victory in. a threat to the capital the rebels are able to fire mortars into damascus at times causing casualties russia is now justifying the bombing campaign even though. it is pointing to the presence of fighters belonging to a group previously. accusing of using civilians as human shields and of what it calls armed provocations. many including the un are warning the battle through eastern could turn into a repeat of the battle for aleppo. the battle for aleppo lasted
for months there was so much suffering among the civilian population before a ceasefire deal was reached that involved a mass evacuation of the people of eastern fear they could face the same fate. beirut well as hospital struggled to cope with the overwhelming number of people injured by the airstrikes to civilians mourn their loved ones. in this video filmed by. a man can be seen cradling his dead son before the body is taken away with. the boy he was killed in the area. elsewhere children have been thrown a small policy underground in a bomb shelter in an attempt to distract them from the relentless bombing going on above all the civilians killed this week seventeen children. so earlier we spoke
to my i had my dinner several activists living in east and go to he said the world has turned its back on the country for the past seventy two hours that shelling and bombing raids are not stopping. this moment. there's a lot of dead people here there's a lot of injuries medical points out of service we feel like betrayed really from the international community. that was there was part of the escalation zones and suddenly there's being a brutal campaign on on the area it's really we are we feel like it betrayed syria's ally russia says the rebels and a single to have ignored calls to lay down their arms and surrender it's called for a u.n. security council meeting to discuss the situation there this as the u.n.
human rights chief condemned the violence accusing the government of carrying out a monstrous campaign of annihilation our diplomatic editor james base reports the security council met to discuss the un's charter the governing document of the world organization with charter drawn up over seventy years ago gives the council a key role of maintaining peace and security a job it's miserably failed to do over the last seven years in syria as it met once again divided and impotent some of the worst violence of the war as eastern ghouta was once again bombarded four hundred thousand people that leave. in hell on earth and so my appeal to all those involved. is for any immediate suspension of all war activities in eastern guta there were in fact
for one day two secretaries general in new york mr good terrorists his previous sesa bang ki-moon had also been invited to speak he also expressed concern at the continued bloodshed in the syrian situation you'd really have must come to an end it's going to be a seventh year in for a come march tenth it will be a seventh year of doing daughter seven years a sore many civilian population have been killed there is now a new peace effort the ambassador of sweden hopes to bring a new draft resolution to a vote in the council in the coming days we're asking for a cessation of hostilities for thirty days throughout syria throughout syria forty or forty eight hours after that access for weekly u.n. humanitarian and convoys aid aid convoys to the areas in
need particularly urgent busy ched areas russia had blocked previous efforts to get a resolution on a cease fire in eastern guta facing mounting criticism and bassett or vaseline the benzene has now himself called for a security council meeting on the situation on thursday the charter which the un has actually been discussing is in effect the constitution of the world body it begins we the peoples of the united nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war now compare those words to the pictures from eastern guta history is bound to judge that in recent days and over the past seven years the u.n. has failed the people of syria james pays out his era at the united nations. elsewhere in syria turkey is warning of serious consequences after fighters loyal to the syrian government entered
a free again to help the kurds turkish backed rebels say they're now close to encircling the five which is mainly under the control of the kurdish y p g and it is the y.p. g terrorists it's all a bunch of aid has this report from turkey's border with syria. the focus of the fight for control in syria's north these are fighters of the free syrian army backed by turkey they have been pushing out the kurdish forces who were in control here. but now they also face a new opponent syrian reinforcements. this is the moment when proscenium government media reported that. the northern city around twenty vehicles carrying the men were seen responding to the call for help from a goodish white b.g. fight is against turkey's military offensive. as the syrian popular forces and we have come here to support our people the civilians in africa who have been ensuring the fiercest of attacks from the ottomans the occupiers past and present we came to
africa because we are one we are one syrian people but most of them retreated pushed back by turkish artillery shells. some of the syrian militia men managed to reach the kurdish area it's a strange union between groups who are not so long ago were fighting each other but they both have their reasons the kurds on the back foot in a free and the syrian government sees the turkish incursion as an opportunity. and then. i reiterate that we are countering to accuse action and opposing its aggression enough rain in northern syria we call on the kurdish and the arabs to unite and stick to the stance i want to stress that the syrian government forces will defend millimeter of territory the turkish president says the operation has entered a new phase and is adamant that his forces will control within. yes he says the alliance between kurdish fighters in syria and militias will have no impact on turkey's offensive in the region. yesterday in the talks with russian leader putin
and the iranian president rouhani we had an agreement on these matters unfortunately as you know these kinds of terror going to zation sometimes take wrong steps with the decisions to take by themselves it is not possible for us to allow this it will pay a heavy price for this. after the defeat of isis in northern syria russia iran the syrian government the united states and turkey are all competing for influence and control and the difficulty in a free man is the latest front blind turkey says its month long advance is being slow to try and avoid civilian casualties but syrians across the country continue to suffer in a war with no end in sight. that while there and other important story here fifteen people have been killed in an as strike by the saudi light coalition in northern yemen according to local residents the strike hit two cars and a truck traveling along a road south of sada it also damaged the main road from sada to the capital sana
saudi led coalition is trying to oust the rebels who control much of the country's north thousands have been killed in the fighting. and with the news hour much more still to tell you about brazilian troops deployed across rio de janeiro to fight rising crime in the city. friend time follow israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu from a confidant agrees to testify against him. and in sport manchester united target a place in the champions league quarter finals so now we'll have the latest. students from last week's florida school shooting are among hundreds of people who've marched on the state's capital tallahassee to demand tougher gun laws the teenagers met senators and gun control campaign is seeking reforms in the wake of the
massacre the second worst school shooting in u.s. history they also told the crowd at the rally about their experience last week when a nineteen year old gunned down seventeen staff and pupils with an assault rifle at his former school. no i purpose of an assault weapon like this is to kill and to kill as many people as possible to a garbage can car or to a r.p.c. it is not that's not the fence wipe it is rightly so call it an assault weapon but don't think about this word. i'm not trying to take away your second amendment rights nor am i trying to eliminate all guns we cannot protect their guns super we protect our children was. a few things here to conjure up with really going on we're dealing with a national crisis your crime by feel your to protect you. he was. when is that rally took place in florida hundreds of high school pupils
also descended on washington d.c. in solidarity they're staging a sit in outside the white house to demand tougher gun restrictions people skipped class in order to attend the protests and gallagher joins us now from tallahassee florida and it seems a real sense of defiance and determination on the passing of these students in the face of political intransigence tell us what's been happening there. well a couple of hours ago when the rally here was at its height there were at least two to three thousand people outside the capitol building behind me you heard those eloquent speeches from the students that survived last week's shooting in parklane which seventeen people died and these students have been praised across the world for their eloquence for their passion but on wednesday you just yesterday the florida legislature in under three minutes voted down
a bill that would have banned assault rifles which gives you some sense of what these students are up against they will not stop campaigning the question is whether the momentum will lead to any real change and any change in gun laws in this country even if it's a change to the minimum age in which you can buy assault rifle will be a momentous occasion remember nicholas cruz had ten weapons including that they are fifteen rifle and he was just nineteen years of age so if that minimum age is raised to twenty one that will be a major achievement of course most of the protesters here today would like to see assault rifles banned altogether but you saw what happened here at the florida state legislature just last night when and under three minutes they voted down that bill to get rid of assault weapons that gives you just some idea of what these kids what these children have gone through so much are really up against. and how might this unfold because it's quite we've seen several school shootings and tragedies
like this sadly in the country but we now see such an incredible reaction coming from the students themselves very much up against florida republicans is there going to be mounting public pressure on them to do something to make some sort of concession well this is a voice of a new generation these are eloquent smart young people who are determined to make changes in their old timet goal is to vote people out who don't but what they want to happen the real question is is this a tipping point is this a momentum that will finally make republican politicians change their minds we've already heard some indication from president trump that he wants to push legislation forward to bomb stocks they were used in the last vegas shooting in which so many people died he's also talking about raising the minimum age for buying an assault rifle these are all of course words at the moment and it's worth bearing in mind that after sandy hook five years ago when someone walked into
a school with the same rifle and killed six year old children nothing happened at the moment it feels like there's lots of energy feels like this has the potential to be a tipping point in america's history and in america's history of its relationship with guns but they've now laid the responsibility for any change squarely on the doorstep of the politicians and it's really ultimately up to them to decide what to do next thank you very much andy gallacher in tallahassee now nigerian officials say fifty girls remain missing following an attack by booker her on fighters on a village in your bay state and mission ninety one students at a girls' school and she were reported as missing but some of the girls returned after fleeing into the bush in two thousand and fourteen book around abducted more than two hundred seventy girls from the town of chibok algis there is a common interest has more from my degree. well there are differing accounts as to exactly what happened at the government goes cool in new york the state initial
reports say the fight is went into town started fighting sporadically in there and then went to the school raided the school food store but nobody was taken then a day later after the attack or at least one student told local media that you saw some of our colleagues being taken away so when the fighters moved into the institution members of staff of the school and the girls killed the first and ran into the bushes then reports emerged that more than ninety have been unaccounted for from then there were reports that some of the go so far have found their way back into town and back into the school back to the school now some parents also approached the school authorities telling them that in fact some of their daughters have made found their way home so the obvious to government issued a statement saying that at least fifty students have been unaccounted for as of the time it released that statement but said the military and other security services are calming the bushes trying to rescue those who fled and found their way why the
actually couldn't get home now this is coming at a time when there are still up to one hundred schoolgirls kidnapped in two thousand and forty in chibok and now a lot of people are perceived as to exactly what happened and many people are complaining as to why there was no clear statement more than twenty four hours after the attack hundreds of villages have been destroyed and more than six hundred thirty thousand forced to flee their homes after a surge in violence in the democratic republic of congo the u.s. refugee agency is one that fighting in southeast entangle province could lead to a humanitarian disaster of extraordinary proportions shallop ballasts reports. all right well that will get to that report from the democratic republic of congo a bit later on but here we have u.s. president trump at the white house engaging in a listening session with some students the white house keen to be seen to be interacting engaging with speaking directly to to students about what is how
particularly in the wake of the florida shooting. this following seventeen people being killed by nineteen year old gunman nicholas cruz. at the high school there in part planned florida and we have seen students rallying very keen to make their voices heard this. not just in washington d.c. but also. in tallahassee that demanding stricter gun legislation stricter gun laws we have heard president trance beating out in the past few days he said he would ask the justice department direct them to proceed with a ban on so-called bomb stocks the device that can be used on illegal weapons and that essentially turns them into machine guns but for some people that does not go
far enough so let's listen them just. for security. to get. i want to listen in if the city were to get the gun i could reach out to pasture you could probably say the prayer would be appreciated thank you. probably more than a whole be you need you to be doing anything they could do that you have given them involved would you still didn't think that happened here in america that there's going to need to have a plan it's going to be agreed to that we're going to get america back on track we need to be with our children with the gold everybody else in the world their father i ask you i know then your holy spirit will comfort you just a need that you would standing in right now we're bracing your world. for two or three are gathered in a beginning to instill fear if we are just to comfort the families corporate every
one of them any it may be the only several years that were there didn't lose a loved one but know they were there at that time to talk with them and for i just ask right now in the name of jesus christ. we just welcome you in the field in futility pretty. much. by spreading the word sterling i'd like you to see if you were john i'd like to the new duty. it's most noble some of you met a little while ago. might. close up. on the fact. that. the piss old series sympathies first in. and of the american people. as president said. last week. in
america people are you know one. broken. with two flights. a president called this meeting first as much to talk about. what's happened in the country over the last one. and finding out from all of. my listening money. how i ensure that this is the last time this ever had. ended and president deeply moved by the stories of for her if. not kid removed by the courage to face. many of you to be good. and what i just want to encourage you to do still the us you should embrace. that america is looking for your president for inspiration leadership around. they're doing that. and we want to hear your parfitt
encourage you to be in the form of. assured us nothing in your personal experience but. what it is that you would have us to do if you just know that it's the president's fault really taken action. will be needed in this very room in the coming days with governors from fifty states. to make schools a. tom for you this is an intrusion cross this country. president i want to hear from you the first. floor i want to see you thank you for coming thank you for the courage to be the. sheer surety heart. there's more food for you from which is going to push you. thank you very very much richard . to you. cheers here and they are
here for you it is yours and there are. many here. i admire your strength the rarity here is. the vice president i. know you're here and no teacher should ever. be partners for. what having it is that. we are here to have an earnest conversation about why this tragedy and to many others before it happened and how we can work to find solutions. we're here to listen to gain your important perspective on ways to reduce violence and to protect students our hope is that by talking and by listening we can make something that was unthinkable a bad something good and your loss and your trauma must never be
in vain so thank you again for being here and let's get started. i just want to say he will really begin to get what he would do or the reverse the background checks that you do and restore secretary kerry told him to this is going to be a mental health for somebody and do we are already these people are they rather things again next week the governors are coming in from most of the states are going to be very serious because. it's going to be a school safety we're. going to cover every yes we're going to hear many ideas that i think there's many ideas that are the people and we're going to pick up the strongest players to be used to work day here he's a good worker we're going to get them done so i could be talking like it has been the best for your team all too many instances you can do to get it done.
again i want to thank you all for being here and i'd like i'd like to hear your story and i also like to give you any she gestures for the future to leave use horrible experience to be going through. ok if you. are going to. thank you mr. my name is julia put over and i'm from stillman's are this high school and i was there during the shooting and i'm a survivor and i want you guys all to the size of the point that i survived i was lucky enough to come home from school unlike some of my other classmates and teachers and it's it's very scary and knowing that a lot of people did not have this opportunity to to be to be here still is mind blowing and i'm just i feel like there is
a lot to do you and i really appreciate you like hosting me and what you are saying i am confident that you do the right thing and i appreciate you looking at the. bomb stocks yesterday that means it is definitely a step in the right direction and i think we can all agree on that. there's definitely a lot more to go but i i am just grateful that i hear and we can try to work out something maybe compromise on some solutions so this never has no child no person in this world ever have to go something through so horrific in tragic and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone there so thank you. my name is jonathan blanc i go to stillman douglas and i was actually in the second classroom i was shot. in my mind as a kid that shouldn't nothing ever horrible should ever have to happen to you and you can't even think about it it doesn't even seem real still everything seems fake
i don't really i can't even i don't even know what's going on it's just crazy everything happening it's just so tragic thank you for everything. you don't agree . and i like the direction that you're going in thank you. explicitly as my son. changes the. law. so clearly. this. was a law. and i feel. for all of these families we've heard from might. be coming together i feel for. all the families who have lost. and i
feel for the ones that are here because we now have almost a guilt like i have. why not my child which i feel bad saying. that he's here with me. feel so bad for all of you cliff lost so many. and i'm just begging for change we need a change. you . can't do you mind my house microphone back to my daughter because i think she has some nice solutions and. if that's ok with you. my name is carson abd i'm a junior and i was at marjorie stone douglas the time of the shooting and i know that there are a lot of different solutions that we can go through to help eradicate this issue
but one that stuck out to me was about all the drills and protocols that my teachers had to go through they knew what to do once the code red for an active shooter is announced but through research i found that only thirty two states require drills but of those thirty two states. more than half of the counties do not go through the drills because they want to spend their resources towards something else. and i know that a bill was also passed that declare that each school has to go through one drill each month but i know that my school we go through fire drills every month and we were we have not had our lockdown drill yet this year and i think a change that will increase all the training is in protocols call so if god forbid another sheet shooting does have been at least all the teachers we've repaired and can hopefully keep their students com. thank you.
my name is ariana klein i would just like to say thank you for leading this country you're a great leader and i appreciate the direction the country is going and i'm a junior. and i just want to say that everybody right now is so stuck on what they believe that they're not even listening to what other people believe we need to listen to other points of views we all need to realize that we all have different points of views and that we need this solution is not going to be a singular thing it's going to be multifaceted and it's going to be created by a collection of different people working together and we all have to realize that we all have our opinions and together we're going to be able to work toward a solution and this is not just park land anymore this is america this is every student and every city every everywhere it's everywhere it's not small it's
everything. i say thank you for having me given. my name spread out i'm carson's dad i'm going to pass the microphone along to some of the other students if we have a chance later on perhaps speaker other parents could speak but i'd like the students to get their chance. my name is just your and i was at the school at the time of the massacre i'm only fifteen years old i'm a sophomore nineteen years nineteen years ago the first school shooting columbine columbine high school. happened. and i was born into a world where i never got to experience safety and peace there needs to be significant change in this country because this has to never happen again and people should be able to to be feel that when they go to school they can be safe. and because there needs to be
a change. because our. people need to feel safe and parents shouldn't have to go through the idea of losing their child as i know for my dad he. and he couldn't imagine it so. that should even be a possibility that you go through a parent's mind. there needs to be some change thank you. kerry group or just. be brief you know just as tex to me hiding in a closet saying if something happens i love you something happens i love you and you can imagine what that's like as a parent and then his phone died and i don't know what happened for another hour or so so. i was lucky enough to get my son home but seventeen families it's this is it's not left and right it's not political it's
a human issue people are dying and we have to stop this we have to stop if if he's not old enough to buy a drink to buy a beer he should not be able to buy a gun at eighteen years old i mean that's just common sense we have to do commonsense please mr trump these are things we have to do. you have to be twenty seven years old to have a gun you're only allowed one they tax the guns. you have to go through significant training we gotta do something about this we cannot have our children die this is just heartbreaking please thank you. my name is shannon morris i'm a local administrator for a school in d.c. and i really want to continue the conversation for our students. hi my name is marcus and i'm also a local educator here in washington d.c.
for friendship public charter schools so i will allow our students that are here to voice their opinions as well as give some of their ideas to do that at this time and my condolences and my heart truly go out to not just the families that have lost children in this horrific horrific incident that has occurred but also to our families here in the district of columbia that experience gun violence outside of our schools that directly impact our schools because they are our students. my name is only a barn and i go to the front of technology purpose or you care to me in the heart of southeast d.c. my condolences to every family here that experience the shooting and all the
students that on experience and i'm here on behalf of my school and all of the friendship schools and d.c. to be able to prevent those kind of things happening at all school because in southeast d.c. we do encounter a lot of violence things. most of the time at night but some a lot of the times are like the daytime too so our schools we do take preventive of preventive measures and everything to stop that like we check bags at the door and everything and it does make us at first we're like no we don't want to do this but then we realize it's for our safety but we want to make sure that it continues and that nothing can ever slip through. for this for these things to happen like in school counseling for our students who. are struggling with
fear and bullying bullying triggers emotions that will make a student want to bring like a weapon to school to protect themselves or to get revenge for a person who. did something to them so we just want to have a lot of prevented imagist to be in the schools and also outside of school to make sure that nothing can happen to us while we're in school. mr president thank you for having us i'm christina mayor of the city of parkland. we have a great city it's been one of the safest cities in america and the fact that this happened in our city means it can happen anywhere we are blessed that we are a very close knit family oriented city and our community is coming together we lost seventeen lives but the ripple effects throughout the community are devastating i
have spent the last week going to funerals friends of mine their loss their children we have to some point care enough and be strong enough to come up with solutions. and i hope we will and if i might i had two parents who lost children this past week to text her parents who lost children this past week text me some of their thoughts if i might share them with you. thank you i spoke to jennifer and tony montel tow they just had buried their daughter gina yesterday. and. their comments were is an airline pilot and he said he supports the second amendment but he does not believe there is a need for assault rifles he also said that the f.b.i. there were signs missed and reminded him of nine eleven so we do have to work on making sure that our protocols are in place so that the. area people don't slip
through the cracks literally in this case. we also talked about the red flag laws i think there's a little progress being made in florida now on the red flag laws which is when somebody shows signs of hurting themselves or someone else you can take their they're going to way from them fred guttenberg. the service for his daughter jamie was last week on friday and he would like. the administration to publicly acknowledge the role of guns now these two parents talked about guns and there are absolutely lots of areas that where there is room for improvement lots of areas from mental health from teacher training but also part of that is also the gun issue so it's not that it's just those and not the gun it's all of them and. in the debate world in the high school debate world the kids talk about when they
bring up legislation you want to have impacts or not bring up legislation that doesn't have a positive impact and. what is the positive impact of having legislation that stops assault rifles bans assault rifles it could save a life and that needs to be a priority in any case and when we talk about rights so we have the right for free speech but if free speech in any way in dangerous someone it gets restricted and i think i appreciate that we're coming here to listen and i appreciate that we're coming here to look at all different perspectives because we need action and we need to be solution oriented. because my daughter has no voice she was murdered last week and she was taken from
us. shot nine times on the third floor. because we as a country failed on children. this shouldn't have. we go to the airport i can't get on a plane would have a bottle of water but we leave it some animal could walk into a school and. it's just not right and we need to come together as a conferee and work on what's a war and that is protecting our children. in the schools. that's the only thing that matters right now everyone has to come together and not think about different wars to come together as a country not different parties can figure out how we protect the schools it's it's simple it's not difficult we protect airports we protect concerts
stadiums embassies the department of education that i walked in today that has a security guard in the elevator how do you think that makes me feel in the elevator they've got a security guard. i'm very angry that this happened because it keeps happening nine eleven happened once and they fixed everything how many schools how many children have to get shot that stops here with this administration and me it's i'm not going to i'm not going to sleep until it's fixed and mr president we're going to fix it because i'm going to i'm going to fix it i'm not going to rest and look at my boys need to live with this i want to see everyone you guys look at this may i. but to see a children go through this very desisted so we that's what i keep saying this
because i want to sink in not forget about this we can't forget about it these are all the school shootings just it doesn't make sense fix it should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it and i'm pissed because my daughter i'm not going to see again she's not here she's not here she's out in north florida daylight whatever it is king david cemetery that's where i go to see my kid now and it stops we all work together and come up with the right idea and a school safety. it's not about gun laws right now that's that's another fight another battle let's fix the schools and then you guys can battle it out whatever you want but we need our children safe monta tomorrow whatever day it is you kids are going to go to school you think everyone everyone's kids to say it i didn't
think it was going to happen to me if i knew it i would have been out to school every day if i knew it was that dangerous it's enough to get together work with the president and fix the schools that's it you know what the discussions security whatever we have to do is get the right people the consultants it's up these are all commodities i'm never going to see my kid again i want you all and all that never ever will i see my kids that's how i want to sink in to turning my beautiful daughter i'm never going to see again and it's simple it's not we can fix. this my son haku who's have to deal with this still you have something to say son. i just want to add. that it's imperative to the safety of everyone. to support the free market and free flow of ideas and in and listened
to people on listen to radical opinions on both both sides and that's how we'll find solutions you you let people battle it out in a free flow of ideas censorship has got to stop and that's. that's how we find the solutions by listening to everyone be having an open mind. so. how are you i wonder polly klass of fifteen marjorie stoneman douglas i walk the same always wear metal got shot and all sixteen other victims first off i want to thank mr president for having us we had a very effective meeting before we walked in this room mr vice president as well madam secretary i put all my trust in my father that together they will be able to
find a solution and that's all i have to say thank you for having us. my name is sam. i'm a student from marjorie stoneman douglas park. and. i just want to take a second first to thank you for having me mr president mr vice president madam secretary . i was on the second floor in that building. texting my mom takes my dad takes them three my brothers. and i was never going to see him again. and then it occurred to me. that my fourteen year old brother was directly above me in that classroom where scott buell
was murdered. scott beagle. got my brother in the class he was the last kid to get back into that class. and up i'm sure a lot of a lot of you have read my texts on the internet my brother i didn't plan for them to go viral i just wanted to share with the world. because no brothers or sisters or family members or anyone else ever after share those texts with them. and that's why i'm here i lost the best friend i was practically a brother. and i'm here to use my voice because i know he can't. and i know he's with me cheer me on to be strong but it's more. and to
feel like this. it doesn't even feel like a week. time has stood still. to feel like this ever i can't i can't feel comfortable in my contrary knowing that people have will have ever going to feel like this. i want to feel safe in school you know senior year in junior big years for me when i turned my academics around started connecting with teachers and i started actually enjoying school. and now i don't know how i'm ever going to step foot on that place again or go to a public park after school or be walking anywhere near my friends we escape when a car drives by anywhere.
i think i agree with hunter and hug. and how we need to let ideas flow and get the problem solved. i don't understand i turned eighteen the day after i woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. and i don't understand why i could still go in a store and buy a weapon of war. a r. i was reading today that a person twenty years old walked into a store and bought an a r fifteen in five minutes with an expired id how is it that easy to buy it is type one and how we don't stop this after columbine
after. city with a mother that lost its little. still happening. in australia there is a shooting at a school in one nine hundred ninety nine you know after that it took a lot of ideas they put legislation together and they stopped it. can anyone here guess how many shootings there have been in the schools since then and. zero we need to do something that's why we're here so let's be strong. for the fall and we don't have a voice to speak anymore. and let's never but this happened again we. the place has been madam secretary. my story is far too
well known. i had two sons who were at sandy hook school and my eldest who was eight at the time survived in my six year old son dylan did not. and i have been working tirelessly on this issue for over five years now. the organization that i helped lead sandy hook promise is very focused on keeping kids safe at school because no parent should go through this every parent who sends their kid to school should know without any question in their mind that they're going to be coming home that day this is not a difficult issue you're absolutely right there are solutions and this is ministration has the ability to put them in place. and after sandy hook
they said this we wouldn't let this happen again and yet it is continued to happen for five years how many more deaths can we take as a country how many more teenagers in six and seven year olds can be allowed to die don't let that happen anymore on your watch there are things that you can do right now. mental health you mentioned earlier funding for that would be very much appreciated the stop school violence act enabling prevention programs and reporting systems in schools across america it's already passed through the house it's in the senate right now urge swift passage of that can get a lot of help to schools i absolutely agree since sandy hook there has been an increase in school safety and security we've invested a lot in the bricks and mortar of our schools we've invested a lot in the security of our schools i think we also need to focus on prevention how do we prevent these acts from happening how can we help identify and get help
for people who are at risk of hurting themselves or others before they pick up any weapon that's what we need to focus on by preventing these acts and you have the ability to do that there's legislation available to you right now. there are free training programs such as are know the science programs available across the states right now you could mandate these sorts of programs you could ensure that schools students and educators are trained how to recognize the signs and to know what to do when they see them and then to ensure that those tips are followed through this is not difficult these deaths are preventable and i implore you. consider your own children. you don't want to be me no parent does and you have the ability to make a difference and save lives today please don't waste this thank you.
mr prosser vice president and mrs vause thank you for inviting me to life and i to be here today i'm a little bit weak i had surgery last weeks on and a week in voice and body but nineteen years ago. i went through what some of the folks here are going through now because my beautiful daughter rachel. was killed and my son craig was in the library that day two of his friends were murdered beside him he lay there covered in their blood looking down the barrel of two guns aimed at him and he knew he was going to die and a split second before eric and dylan pulled the trigger the alarm system went off and it distracted them and they never came back to the table where craig was out or i would have lost two children columbine so my heart goes out to use or and to every one of you in this room that have experienced the trauma that you've gone through it parked on. our focus has been my beautiful wife the most beautiful lady
in the room is right there in blue and white blouse sandy we started a program called rachel's challenge and it was started. year after rachel died and we have worked with some wonderful partners over the last few years we work closely with chuck norris and his wife gina in a program they call kick start for kids with work of bill ripken jr cal ripken jr and his brother bill and of created a program for athletes called the uncommon athlete and it's based on something my daughter wrote in one of her diaries we partner with dr robert marzano who's one of the top k. through twelve researchers in the country and a program called watch trial dear friends and another program called. love and logic dr jump in one of the largest parenting programs all of us combine our efforts together our organization has reached over twenty eight million students in
the last nineteen years and we have seen seven school shootings prevented we see an average of three suicides prevented every single week of the year over one hundred fifty a year have a little book with me that i'd like to leave with you it's got letters from students we don't edit them these are e-mails from students who are planning to commit suicide and we see three of those every single week students to change their mind and if you don't mind i just want to share one simple principle with you that we've learned over the years as we worked with millions and millions of young people and it comes from something you said last week in your speech and it was that we must create a culture of connectedness we must create a culture in which makes become our for our classmates become our friends that's something we've learned how to do over the years we have over twenty eight different programs and we see children connect with one another every single one of
these school shootings have been from young men who are disconnected and we talk a lot about the mental health issues but it actually goes deeper than that because there's a lot of mentally ill children that are kind and compassionate. and so we work with those children every single day of the year of the school year but there's always the one with a propensity to violence and so one of the things we have learned and we train young people and we train teachers that the focus must not be just on unity or diversity because if you focus too much on diversity you create division if you focus too much on unity you'll create compromise but if you focus on relatedness and how we can relate with one another then you can celebrate the diversity and you can see the unity take place i'm all for diversity i'm all for unity but the focus really needs to be on how can we connect and not something that we and our
organizations have learned one thing we have learned is how to connect students with each other with themselves with their teachers and with their parents and i would love to share more. as we have a chance to do so thank you again for having us today. it's a lot of people that we really do appreciate it some of the folks in the back and some of my friends sitting right back you would like it have you say a few words we can learn a lot from you we want to learn everything we can learn and we're going to go starting about two minutes after this meeting we're going to work because this is a long term situation that we have to solve we'll solve it together and you've gone through extraordinary pain and we don't want others to go through the kind of pain that you've gone through wouldn't be wouldn't be right so would you like to say