On the fourth day of the Parkland crime scene inspection, the families of the victims were joined by a brand new superintendent and member of the Broward County School Board.
Building 1200 at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School has remained intact since the tragedy in 2018. One of those who decided to go inside last week to see where his son Alex took his last breath was Max Schachter – and on Tuesday he returned to school to pick up some of his son’s belongings.
He carried a box that is not physically heavy, but carries a lot of emotions.
On Tuesday evening, Shakhtar tweeted a picture of the box and it received over 20,000 likes. He wrote: “Just went to MSD High School to pick up Alex’s bag from the day he was murdered in Parkland (in this box). I was told that the “BIOHAZARD” sticker meant it had Alex’s blood on it and could have bullet holes. I’m afraid I’m not strong enough to open the box. It’s horrible”.
Just went to@MSDHighSchoolpick up Alex’s bag of books from the day he was murdered in Parkland (in this box). They told me that the “BIOHAZARD” sticker meant it had Alex’s blood on it and could have bullet holes. I’m afraid I’m not strong enough to open the box. it’s horrible pic.twitter.com/N10HKd756n
— Max Schachter (@maxschachter) July 11, 2023
“Right now I’m not in a position to open it,” Shakhtar said on Wednesday.
I asked him what he wants the public to know about what victims like him and other relatives of the 17 killed that day are going through over the past five and a half years.
“In that it never stops, it never ends, it’s constant, we get hurt all the time and we go through it and we have to move forward and deal with those emotions, it’s excruciatingly difficult,” Shakhter said. “I don’t know. how to do it, there is no tutorial for that.”
The school safety and security manual is still being written. On his second day on the job, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Peter Licata said he felt the need to see the crime scene in person. He was joined by School Board member Daniel Foganholy, recently appointed to the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.
“Incredibly spectacular, furious,” said Licata, describing his tour of the crime scene. “I think I’m still angry, sad, it’s a lot of mixed emotions.”
“It was very hard,” Foganholy added. “It’s extremely difficult to go through because this father role really hit me and it was very hard to see that scene, but for us to be here to learn, to make it a mission to make Broward the safest in the country.”
“Safety at school doesn’t just stop, it’s always moving and you have to be ahead of the game,” added Licata.
Meanwhile, Miner tries to process another discovery made in his son’s class.
“Eventually everything stops, but you won’t know when or how, but you will know it’s time to get off and start over,” Miner said, reading Alex’s poem, “Life is a roller coaster.”
“And they found a poem that Alex wrote, a poem that I found at 5 a.m. before his funeral and struggled to write a eulogy,” Shakhter explained. — And the original was in that school, and I wanted to return it. They were so nice that they found it for me, but that was evidence too, and when I got it back, it had a bullet hole in it. It’s just incredible.”
Alex submitted a poem for an English assignment. It was in a stack of papers on the teacher’s desk, and one bullet from the killer’s gun apparently ricocheted down from the ceiling and tore all those papers apart. There is a slit in the middle of the page.