Ty Thompson, principal of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, released an emotional video over the weekend in which he praised the “heroic efforts” of both staff and students during last Wednesday’s horrific school shooting, while also pledging to help the school community get through the unimaginable tragedy.
Thompson offered accolades to students and teachers, alike, for following district protocols when a gunman entered the school and killed at least 17 people. He also thanked first responders for their brave and swift efforts to help contain the deadly disaster.
“We lost 17 lives on Valentine’s Day. That’s supposed to be the international day of love,” Thompson said. “We’re going to take the love that we got lost on Wednesday and we’re going to spread that over the next day, week, months and maybe even years.”
And the principal became emotional when he turned his attention to the pain that he knows his school community is facing, pledging to “hug” everyone as many times as needed as they recover.
“I will hug each and every one of you as many times as you need,” he said. “And I will hold you as long as you need me to, for all 3,300 of you and your families and we will get through this together.”
Watch Thompson’s message below: