Marjory Stoneman Douglas unveils new building with ‘infuriating’ plaque, victims’ fathers say

PARKLAND, Fla. – A small ceremony was held Friday evening to commemorate the opening of the newest building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The state-of-the-art facility will provide the classrooms the school has needed since the 1200 building turned into a crime scene in 2018.

According to several who attended the ceremony, the only plaque inside the new building was commemorating the Broward County School Board —and not the 17 victims who were murdered in the Valentine’s Day massacre.

Max Schacter said the plaque honoring the school board and not the victims was “infuriating.” His 14-year-old son Alex Schacter was killed while he was in English class at the 1200 building.

“A lot of us blame the school board members for failing to protect our kids,” Schacter said.

Tony Montalto agrees with Schacter. His 14-year-old daughter Gina Montalto was also killed.

“We’re reminded that that building exists because our loved ones were murdered," Montalto said adding that “to not have our loved ones recognized in any way shape or form is truly painful.”

Lori Alhadeff, center, and her husband Ilan Alhadeff, right, hold a picture of their daughter Alyssa Alhadeff, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim, March 23, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Lori Alhadeff, who became a school board member after losing her 14-year-old daughter Alyssa in the shooting, said she had no idea this plaque would be there.

“I absolutely feel that there should be a plaque at the bare minimum to commemorate the 17 killed,” Alhadeff wrote in a text message.

Alhadeff also said the plans to add a water feature to honor the 17 victims had to be put on hold due to the economic downturn during the coronavirus pandemic. There are also plans in the works for a memorial to replace the 1200 building, which will be demolished after the murder trial ends.

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.