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Widow of Parkland school shooting victim wins local election

Impact of Black vote on 2020 election
Impact of Black vote on 2020 election 06:42

Debra Hixon just won a school board seat in Broward County, Florida, where in 2018, a devastating shooting at a high school in Parkland left 17 dead. Hixon's husband, Christopher Hixon, was one of the people killed.

Hixon's local election win is getting nationwide attention as she now has the chance to make changes in the school district that both she and her late husband worked in. 

Christopher Hixon was Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's athletic director. The 49-year-old helped out where needed, whether as volleyball coach or wrestling coach, according to CBS Miami. The father of two was just one week away from a surprise birthday party when he died. 

Hixon, one other school employee and 15 students were killed when a student entered the school with a gun on February 14, 2018. 

According to Debra Hixon's campaign website her husband died while trying to disarm the shooter. She now serves as the president of the Chris Hixon Athletic Scholarship, which is dedicated to her husband. 

The mother of two is a member of several groups dedicated to supporting students and making schools safe, her website reads. 

School Shooting Parkland Widow
Debra Hixon poses for a portrait on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Hollywood, Florida. Brynn Anderson/AP

She has been a teacher in Broward County for 31 years, and has been an "active and involved member of the Broward County community for over fifty years, as a student, teacher, and parent."

The primary goals of her campaign "are to make the changes necessary to keep our schools safe, not only from active shooters, but from bullying and over testing, expand mental health support for both students and teachers, provide teachers with adequate pay and the resources and policies they need to help students succeed, and build open and positive relationships between schools and their communities." 

At a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz after the school shooting, Hixon praised state legislators for passing new gun restrictions. However, she vowed to continue to push for a ban on the type of rifle that was used by the gunman who killed her husband.

She focused on working on gun buyback programs, CBS Miami reported. "Whether you're pro-gun or anti-gun none of us is saying everybody should have their guns taken away," Hixon told CBS Miami one year after the tragic shooting. "We all just believe people with guns should be responsible with them."

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