Beyond the Parkland School Shootings

By Leonard Matarese, ICMA-CM, IPMA-CP

How looking at the aftermath of this tragedy provides insights that can help communities plan with the goal to prevent or mitigate the devastation of future events

Parkland, Florida, is the type of community that many Americans strive to be able to call home. Located in the northwest corner of Broward County, its 10 square miles is home to about 33,000 people living in approximately 9,000 households, whose median family income is more than $135,000. The medium home value is approximately $600,000. Many residences are in gated communities; others are on large acreage lots.

Parkland is a young community—the average age of a resident is 41 years. Many families moved here to feel safe—the crime rate is extremely low—or to allow their kids to attend modern, successful public schools. Parkland is a family-oriented community, with nice parks and open spaces and few commercial establishments. The city library and recreation center are focal points.

Residents living in Parkland reported a generalized sense of “complacency” before February 14, 2018. On that day at 2:19:54 PM, this world changed forever. At that exact moment, a teenage former student of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School entered the school armed with an AR-15, and in the course of eight minutes murdered 14 students and three adults and wounded 17 more before leaving the building.

Continue reading at:

, , ,