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Superintendent urges ‘Catholic action’ to support schools


The horrific shooting incident that left 17 people dead and others injured in a Florida high school Feb. 14 has caused people to stand up and try to make a difference in a nation that has seen scores of mass shootings including many at schools.

The violent outburst at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla., has become all too familiar in the United States and again has drawn cries for help, ranging from tighter gun laws to better mental health assistance.

Samuel Zeif, a student and survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., cries after his remarks to U.S. President Donald Trump during a Feb. 21 listing session at the White House in Washington. Zeif’s best friend was one of the 17 people killed when 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz allegedly stormed the Parkland school Feb. 14 with an AR-15 semi-automatic style weapon. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

Students in Florida have called for a national school walkout March 14, hoping to bring attention to issues of school safety and gun violence.

Louis De Angelo, schools superintendent for the Diocese of Wilmington, is among the many administrators nationwide working to recognize the day and allow time for students to get their message across and have a positive impact on the issues.

“That’s our goal, to be sure that the voices of the young people who want to be heard are heard.” De Angelo said. “That they’re heard in a way that lends itself to Catholic action, not simply to protest.

“Our goal is that the schools will determine in working with the young people what is it that we want do – rosary, adoration, some kind of inspirational reading – and that we do pray for the victims and their families. We pray for the legislators. We pray for the president, so that we can all come to a resolution that is for the safety of everyone.”

De Angelo said administrators and teachers spend a lot of time working to improve safety and will continue to do so. He said schools update and practice safety plans and drills all the time. The diocese includes students from pre-K through high school.

“Our goal is to let kids know that when they’re in school, they’re in a safe place,” he said. “That’s always the goal.”