S. Fla. community leaders react to Conn. school shooting

"My heart breaks," Wasserman Schultz said

"A random act of violence is extremely difficult to prevent, particularly when it is perpetrated by an individual with mental illness. Preparedness and response protocols are key. Miami-Dade has a comprehensive Critical Incident Response plan that involves scenario enactment, lockdown and evacuation drills, as well as joint training exercises between school police and local police in our schools. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Newtown Community after this unspeakable tragedy." – Alberto M. Carvalho, Miami-Dade County Superintendent of Schools

"Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the families of the Newtown, Connecticut community. The safety of our students is our highest priority. The District has safety measures in place to facilitate a safe teaching and learning environment. We continuously review our security protocols for our school campuses." -- Robert W. Runcie, Superintendent Broward County Public Schools

"My heart breaks for the victims and families impacted by the senseless act of violence today in Newtown, Connecticut. In a world that can at times be defined by its darkness, children are a reminder of what is good, cheerful and beautiful about life. An act of violence against these defenseless young people, as well as the faculty and staff who dedicate themselves daily to educating and caring for them, is a deed of unconscionable evil. I pray that God holds Newtown close tonight as all of her residents come to terms with this tragedy." -- U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

"My heart breaks for the countless parents, families, friends, and everyone affected by today's tragedy in the Newtown community. This is a parent's worst nightmare that they would send their child to school in the morning and they would not return at the end of the day. It is agonizing that so many young, innocent lives ended in such a senseless, violent way. As a mother of school-aged children, my thoughts and prayers are with Newtown and the families of Sandy Hook Elementary as they grieve over this incomprehensible loss, and we will continue to stand with them in the days and weeks ahead." - U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

"Pursuant to the President's Proclamation to lower our national flag in honor of the victims of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, Governor Rick Scott hereby directs the flags of the United States of America and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at all local, state, and federal buildings, installations, and grounds throughout the State of Florida. The flags shall be lowered immediately and remain at half-staff until the expiration of the President's national directive at sunset on December 18, 2012. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and victims of today's tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut." -- Florida Governor Rick Scott

"As a former school teacher and school principal, I grieve not only for the parents, but also for the school staff who bear the brunt of the responsibility of caring for our nation's children. There are no words to describe this heartbreaking tragedy. My sympathies go out to all those affected by this violent act." -- Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

"On behalf of all members of the State Board of Education, I offer my sincere condolences on the loss of lives today at Sandy Hooks Elementary School. Schools should be sacred places for learning and teaching. As parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, we cannot imagine the magnitude of the pain to come from this horrible event. The Board and the Department stand ready to support all of the efforts of our school districts to ensure schools are as safe as we can make them." -- Gary Chartrand, State Board of Education Chair

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