PARKLAND, FL – Kids First Politics Second, a non-partisan advocacy group founded by a Parkland mom in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy, is raising funds to send Marjory Stoneman Douglas parents, teachers and other Parkland parents to Tallahassee this week to advocate for solutions to keep schools and students safe from gun violence. The group aims to raise $100,000 to fund the trip.
One of the group’s founders, Shelbie Seys, said that Kids First Politics Second started the day after the tragedy. She said, "My circle of mom friends all agreed we needed to make a statement. To say something. A small group of us came up with Kids First Politics Second. Peak Seven Advertising quickly made a logo and I made shirts. I was asked by community leaders if I would organize a group to Tallahassee because the only way things will change is if you sit down with lawmakers and tell them our story, our struggle, and make them understand how this can never happen again."
Seys said, "Grace Solomon is one of my dearest friends. Her son is my son’s best friend. Grace’s intentions will always be to put kids first. She looked at me and said the only way this changes is if we go to Tallahassee. So within minutes our core group of moms committed to going and it just spread."
The group’s mission is, "to provide sustained support for the efforts of the students, teachers, families and community members determined to make the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the last school massacre." Kids First Politics Second aims to bring together the voices of people of all political persuasions to "engage elected leaders and advocate for state and federal policies that respect responsible gun owners and make our communities safer."
Seys said, "The motto is Kids First Politics Second. The platform is fear-free safe schools. Every parent wants to know their child is safe when they’re dropped off at school. While it appears small steps are being made, we’re going up to ask that all of our state leaders, regardless of their political positions, put the safety of our children as the highest priority, always!"
Kids First Politics Second hopes to raise enough funds to send 150 parents to Tallahassee this week, starting on Monday, February 26. On Tuesday in Tallahassee the group will meet with elected officials throughout the day and cap off the day with a community gathering, a Tribute to Parkland. The parents will hold additional meetings with elected leaders on Wednesday before heading back to Parkland Wednesday afternoon.
Seys said, "I’m a Parkland parent too. Our government failed us. The FBI failed us. The Broward Sheriff’s office failed us, but most of all, our current state laws failed us. Next year I’ll have three kids in three separate schools, and our schools are no more safe today than they were last week. Parkland and Broward County can’t change the law for the whole state, and there are highly disturbed people everywhere! So, people in all counties of this state have to call their senators and state reps in and tell them to make sure they put school safety at the top of their priority list so this doesn’t happen to their school and community."
Any and all left over money will be used to continue to put pressure on state leaders to work together and put kids first politics second, Seys added.
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