Almost two months after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., Lisa Olsen, the mother of one shooting survivor, expressed her anger at the Broward County School Board hearing. Olsen stated the board had not reached out to students, including her son.
“Even the president of the United States, the first lady, the governor, the attorney general, the chief of staff, and the senator had time to hug my son, but not my school district and not my son’s principal,” she stated emphatically.
Olsen continued to excoriate the board by stating the district had failed to communicate with the families of victims. “But I didn’t come here only with complaints. I have a suggestion. For a critical incident, refer to a communication matrix, sometimes called a phone tree,” she said.
Olsen’s son William was shot by Nikolas Cruz in both arms and saw several of his classmates shot and killed. The mother used an impassioned plea to express her perception that school district officials appeared to avoid reaching out to the injured students and their families. She explained that she had to show a district staff member her son’s X-rays to verify that her son had been injured.
“How could the district fail to contact each of the students in the classrooms where murders and injuries occurred?” she asked. “This borders on negligence. The silence coming from the Broward School District speaks volumes. It seems to me, and to my son, that high-speed media events and politics have gotten in the way of helping those who have been hurt.”
Olsen’s anger continued in charging that the district was more interested in focusing on “photo ops and press conferences” through politicking instead of caring for the damage done to students.