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'Fix it': Father of slain Florida student makes emotional plea to Trump


A grieving parent whose daughter was murdered during the Florida school shooting has delivered an emotional speech during a listening session with US President Donald Trump.

Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was shot and killed during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, joined survivors and their families at the White House for the session intended to brainstorm ideas about how to make US schools safer.

During the session, a visibly emotional Mr Pollack stood up and delivered a speech directed at Mr Trump, saying he's "not going to sleep until it [school safety] is fixed".

"I'm here because my daughter has no voice. She was murdered last week and she was taken from us, shot nine times on the third floor," Mr Pollack said.

"We as a country failed our children. This shouldn't happen.

"We go to the airport, I can't get on a plane with a bottle of water, but we leave some animal to walk into a school."

Mr Pollack called for action to "fix" the problem, saying he didn't want the US public to forget about the shooting. 

"It is just not right. We need to come together as a country and work on what is important and that is protecting our children in the schools -- that is the only thing that matters right now," he said.

"And Mr President, we'll fix it. Because I'm going to fix it. I'm not going to rest.

Andrew Pollack, father of slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Meadow Jade Pollack.
Andrew Pollack, father of slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Meadow Jade Pollack.

"And my boys need to live with this. I want to see everyone. You, you look at this. Me, I'm — I'm a man, but to see your children go through this, bury their sister. That's what I keep saying because I want it to sink in, not forget about this. We can't forget about it. All these school shootings, it doesn't make sense. Fix it."

Mr Pollack finished by saying that US lawmakers should debate gun laws after US schools were made safe.

"It is not about gun laws. That is another fight, another battle," he said.

"Let's fix the schools and then you guys can battle it out whatever you want. But we need our children safe. Monday, tomorrow, whatever day it is, kids go to school. Do you think everyone's kids are safe?"

During the meeting on Wednesday, Mr Trump suggested arming teachers to deter future mass shootings.

Trump also promised "very strong" background checks on gun owners during the poignant "listening session," in which he heard first-hand accounts from bereaved parents and friends, and schoolchildren who narrowly escaped with their own lives.

"A gun-free zone, to a maniac - because they are all cowards - a gun-free zone is 'Let's go in and let's attack," Trump said.

"If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly," Trump said, suggesting that 20 percent of a school's teachers could be trained to carry concealed weapons.

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