Rockland parents worry for students' safety after Florida shooting

Posted: Updated:
NANUET -

Nanuet Senior High School may be more than 1,300 miles away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, but that distance does nothing to alleviate fears for Hudson Valley parents who worry for their children's safety while at school.

"My heart sunk," says Jeannine Damelio, of Nanuet. "My stomach felt awful."

In early February, Nathalie Riobe-Taylor organized a march with students against gun violence through downtown Nyack. Less than two weeks later in the wake of the Parkland shooting, she says she woke up Thursday wondering if she should send her three children to school.

"No parent sends their kids off to school to be shot up and killed," she says. "This is just senseless. People are just dying just to die. And the fact that it's kids makes it more scary."

On Thursday afternoon, many school districts in Rockland County sent home letters to parents ensuring them that safety is their No. 1 priority.

Damelio says she believes Nanuet Senior High, where she has two teens in school, is safe. But she acknowledges that with 18 school shootings in the first 45 days of 2018, no school may truly be safe. She says her kids know it, too.

Police say 17 people were killed when former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the school in Florida. According to investigators, Cruz has confessed to the killings.

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