CNN announces town hall with students, parents affected by Florida school shooting

The school shooting in Florida this week has sparked a renewed call for lawmakers to take action, and some of the loudest voices demanding change are not even old enough to vote.

The tragic event, which occurred Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, is one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern history. Seventeen people — 14 students and three teachers — were killed and many more injured.

Now, led by the students, this South Florida community is demanding answers on how this could have occurred and are asking what steps will federal and state authorities take to prevent this from happening again.

To help facilitate the discussion, CNN has announced it will hold a nationally televised town hall with the victims’ classmates, parents and community members.

“Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” will air live at 9 p.m., ET, on Wednesday, February 21 at the BB&T Center.

So far, Florida Rep. Ted Deutch, Sen. Bill Nelson and Sen. Marco Rubio have accepted an invitation to participate in the town hall. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he would be unable to attend because he would be working on legislative solutions in Tallahassee. And President Donald Trump also declined an invitation to speak to the students and parents.

“With only two weeks left of our annual legislative session, Governor Rick Scott will be in Tallahassee meeting with state leaders to work on ways to keep Florida students safe, including school safety improvements and keeping guns away from individuals struggling with mental illness,” a spokesperson for the governor said.

The President and governor had been offered the opportunity to participate in the town hall and take questions from the students and the Stoneman Douglas community by appearing live from Washington and Tallahassee, CNN said.

A CNN spokeswoman said CNN anchor Jake Tapper will moderate the event and noted that additional details would be released in the coming days.

Update: This story has been updated with responses to CNN’s invitations.