April designated as ‘Month of Kindness’ by Utah lawmakers
SALT LAKE CITY — A special moment on the floor of the Utah House of Representatives on Thursday, to honor a family whose daughter was killed in the Florida high school shootings last month.
The resolution designates the month of April as a “Month of Kindness,” and it urges all of us to do random acts of kindness to honor those who died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The family of 14-year old Alaina Petty was at the capitol when lawmakers approved the resolution, H.C.R. 22, and are thrilled by the gesture.
“Prayers that have been given on our behalf, they’ve really strengthened our family and given us the ability to make it through this unspeakably difficult time,” said Ryan Petty, Alaina’s father.
Davis County Representative Paul Ray read the resolution, by including the names of the 17 victims who died on Feb. 14.
“Whereas the victims of tragedy lived exemplary lives of selfless service showing love for others,” part of the resolution read.
“Selfless service” and “love” are key words. Petty said that’s what his daughter will be remembered for.
“We miss Alaina,” he said Thursday. “So knowing that she’s inspiring and that the other victims are inspiring acts of kindness around the state and hopefully around the country helps.”
Petty and his family, who live in Florida, just finished working with Governor Rick Scott to pass legislation to improve school safety. Petty said it’s not just about guns, it involves continuing the conversation about improving security measures, providing mental health resources and getting everyone involved.
“So our message has been, let’s focus on things we agree on, let’s unite around things we agree on and let’s make change first on the things that we can agree,” said Petty. “Everyone wants their kids to be safe at school.”
The resolution also asks all Utahns to start performing random acts of kindness and let people know about it, using the SafeUT mobile app.
“Be it further resolved that the legislature and the governor encourage the citizens of the state of Utah to use the SafeUT app to record random acts of kindness, to shine a light on the act of service, love and kindness done on behalf of the victims and their families,” the resolution reads.
Alaina’s brother, Ian said he hopes these random acts will spread nationwide and make a difference.
“We really appreciate it. We hope that other states can do things like this too. I think that’s where things really get done is on the state and local level as communities. It’s a lot more personal,” he said.
Ryan Petty added, “What I hope for myself as a father is that I’m the last guy to stand up and say his daughter was murdered in school.”
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