The Berman Law Group announced Tuesday the start of its The Alumni Challenge, an initiative for alumni to give back to their alma maters by donating metal detectors or wands for school safety.
Teddy and Russell Berman, graduates of J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs, donated a metal detector to their high school. The challenge will run through the summer and end at the start of the new school year.
“We’re encouraging successful and charitable alumni to donate a walk-through metal detectors to their school,” said Evan Golden, the chief marketing officer of the law firm. “Unfortunately the wheels of legislation… turn very slowly. Now it’s our turn to take action and initiative.”
Golden, who graduated from Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, also donated a metal detector. The firm sent letters to Robert Runcie, superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, and the principal of J.P. Taravella High School the news of the campaign and their donation.
Walk-through metal detectors can cost up to $5,000 and metal-detector wands can cost up to $500.
After the firm explained the initiative, Lisa Valko, a parent whose son was in the freshman building at Stoneman Douglas during the shooting in February, explained the importance of the initiative.
“I believe every parent should not have to drop their child off in the morning and think whether or not they’re going to come home at the end of the day,” Valko said. “I’m so happy and lucky to have my son home with me. Other friends of mine, like Andrew Pollack, did not get his daughter home that day and I can’t stress the importance of having metal detectors.”
The Valko family also donated a metal detector.
Golden noted that metal detectors are already in use at a number of locations, including concert venues, banks, and government buildings and questioned why students weren’t being protected in the same way
“We can’t wait for legislation anymore,” he said. “This change has to come from us and we’re willing to step up and donate metal detectors. That’s not the only solution, but it’s a great start.”
(Pictured above, Evan Gold and Lisa Valko)