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Turning Agony Into Action For A Parkland Parent

PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – Monday will be four years since 14-year-old Alex Schachter and 16 others were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Since that day, his dad Max has devoted his life to stopping school violence.

"As I'm out here in Arizona, I don't want to be doing this.  I want to be home with my family. I wish I had my old life back, but I will never stop fighting for school safety," said Max Schachter.

Max has been crisscrossing the county, from Arizona to New York and many places in between, meeting with lawmakers, police and community groups.  After the deadly November school shooting in Michigan, he addressed the school safety task force there, sharing what he learned being a part of the MSD Public Safety Commission here.

"It concerns me that a lot of, there's still a tremendous amount of complacency around the country. As I travel, many, many school districts have not implemented the lessons learned from our tragedy," he said.

Max is expanding the reach of his "School Safety Dashboard" as part of his "Safe Schools for Alex" campaign.

So far it's in Florida, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and New Hampshire, while Virginia signs on Monday.  It allows people to see what's going on in their own schools.

"Parents and schools will now have data about what's happening real time, how many bullying incidents they had this month, how many incidents of fighting, how many weapons incidents did they have this month," Max said.

He's also paying close attention to the impact COVID has had on students and putting out a dire warning.

"We're having a mental health crisis in the United States right now and kids are struggling.  I'm afraid that there's going to be more school shootings this year because of COVID and children and teachers are going to get shot and killed if we don't do the things we know to save lives," he warned.

As he preaches his message, he also keeps his young son top of mind, thinking about what he'd be doing if that dark day never happened.

"Alex had a beautiful smile and the cutest little dimples and we miss him. He would have gone on to do great things.  He would have been successful and have great friendships," he said.

As we mark that horrible day on Monday, Max Schachter said won't be on the road, instead he'll be at home, spending time with the family remembering better days and what a good soul Alex was.

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