Florida high-school teacher breaks down after saying every precaution had been taken to save students yet 17 people still died

  • A teacher at the Florida high school where 17 people were killed in the shooting Wednesday said the school did everything possible to prepare but ultimately failed.
  • The teacher, Melissa Falkowski, broke down emotionally at the end of the interview and expressed frustration with the government for failing to prevent such tragedies. Sen. Chris Murphy of Florida expressed a similar sentiment.

Melissa Falkowski, a teacher at the Florida high school where 17 people were killed in the shooting on Wednesday, became overcome with sadness while describing the safety precautions taken by the school and its ultimate failure to prevent lives from being lost.

Falkowski told MSNBC the school had “made a lot of changes to safety protocols this year” and ran drills to practice responding to attacks or threats on the school.

“I don’t think we could have been more prepared than we were today,” said Falkowski, who told CNN in a separate interview that she hid 19 children in a closet during the attack, which she described as a “worst-nightmare scenario.”

“We talked to every single class period that sat in front of us about what to do in a bomb threat, in a fire drill – we went over every safety,” Falkowski told MSNBC. “Every single teacher did that until the classes were tired of hearing about it.”

“Even with that,” said Falkowski, who was visibly becoming distraught, “we still have 17 casualties, 17 people that aren’t going to return to their families.”

“To me, that’s totally unacceptable,” Falkowski added. “It’s time for Congress, somebody to do something and to talk about what the problem is and try to fix it.”

The suspect in the shooting legally bought the AR-15 rifle believed to be used in the attack. Local authorities have charged the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, with 17 counts of premeditated murder, and he could face the death penalty if convicted.

Sen. Chris Murphy of Florida on Wednesday noted the “epidemic of mass slaughter” with school shootings in the US, and he chalked it up to a “consequence of inaction” within the government.

Watch Falkowski’s emotional interview below:

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