MSD Public Safety Commission Recommends Arming Teachers - NBC 6 South Florida
Parkland School Tragedy

Parkland School Tragedy

Marking One Year Since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting

MSD Public Safety Commission Recommends Arming Teachers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Judge Refuses to Dismiss Negligence Suit Against Deputy in Parkland Shooting

    A judge has rejected a deputy's claim that he had no duty to confront the gunman during the school shooting in Parkland. NBC 6's Steve Litz reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018)

    What to Know

    • A judge rejected arguments by attorneys that ex-deputy Scot Peterson had no legal duty to rush into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

    The panel investigating the Florida high school massacre recommended Wednesday that teachers who volunteer and undergo extensive background checks and training be allowed to carry concealed guns on campus to stop future shootings.

    The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted 13-1 to recommend the Legislature allow the arming of teachers, saying it's not enough to have one or two police officers or armed guards on campus. Florida law adopted after the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead allows districts to arm non-teaching staff members such as principals, librarians and custodians — 13 of the 67 districts do, mostly in rural parts of the state.

    Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the commission's chairman, pushed the measure at the Tallahassee meeting. He said most deaths in school shootings happen within the first few minutes, before officers on and off campus can respond. He said suspect Nikolas Cruz stopped to reload his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle five times, all of which would have been opportunities for an armed teacher to shoot him.

    "We have to give people a fighting chance, we have to give them an opportunity to protect themselves," Gualtieri said. He said there aren't enough officers or money to hire one for every school, but even then officers need backup. "One good guy with a gun on campus is not enough."

    Scot Peterson Doesn't Testify Before MSD Commission

    [MI] Scot Peterson Doesn't Testify Before MSD Commission

    Former Broward deputy Scot Peterson is a no-show at the MSD commission meeting where he was scheduled to testify.

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018)

    The state teachers union and PTA have previously expressed opposition, saying teachers are hired to educate, not be police officers.

    Commissioner Max Schachter, whose 14-year-old son Alex died in the massacre, cast the lone vote against the motion. He said the state should focus on hiring more police officers for campuses and allowing non-teaching staff to carry guns.

    "We do need more good guys with a gun on campus — nobody understands that and wishes we had more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas than myself," Schachter said. But arming teachers "creates a host of problems." The father and wife of other victims, who are not on the commission, also spoke against arming teachers.

    BSO Releases New Surveillance Videos on MSD Shooting

    [MI] BSO Releases New Surveillance Videos on MSD Shooting

    Officials released new exterior surveillance videos showing first responders on the day of the Parkland shooting. NBC 6's Dan Krauth reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018)

    After the shooting, Florida law was changed to allow school districts to train and arm employees other than teachers except those who are former or current police officers, current members of the military or Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructors.

    Currently, teachers in 28 states can carry firearms, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, a conservative nonprofit organization. District approval is required in most states and restrictions and training requirements vary.

    The 15-member commission, which has been meeting periodically since April, will present a report to Gov. Rick Scott, incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature by Jan. 1.

    MSD Commission Chair Speaks on Broward Sheriff's Future

    [MI] MSD Commission Chair Speaks on Broward Sheriff's Future

    The chairman of the commission investigating the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre says nothing would persuade him to call for Broward Sheriff Scott Israel to be removed from office by the governor. NBC 6's Tony Pipitone reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018)

    The commission includes law enforcement, education and mental health professionals, a legislator and the fathers of two slain students.

    Also Wednesday, a judge rejected former Stoneman Douglas campus deputy Scot Peterson's contention that he had no obligation to confront Cruz.

    Refusing to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the parent of a victim, Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning found after a hearing that Peterson did have a duty to protect those inside the school. Video and other evidence shows Peterson, the only armed officer at the school, remained outside while shots rang out.

    Broward Schools Examines Code Red Safety Procedures

    [MI] Broward Schools Examines Code Red Safety Procedures

    Since the Parkland shooting, the Broward County School Board has been working to figure out what went wrong. NBC 6's Ari Odzer reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018)

    The negligence lawsuit was filed by Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed. Pollack said it made no sense for Peterson's attorneys to argue that a sworn law enforcement officer with a badge and a gun had no requirement to go inside.

    "Then what is he doing there?" Pollack said after the ruling. "He had a duty. I'm not going to let this go. My daughter, her death is not going to be in vain."

    Peterson attorney Michael Piper said he understands that people might be offended or outraged at his client's defense, but he argued that as a matter of law, the deputy had no duty to confront the shooter. Peterson did not attend the hearing.

    4 MSD Staff Members Reassigned

    [MI] 4 MSD Staff Members Reassigned

    Three assistant principals and a security specialist at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been reassigned based on information presented to the state commission investigating February's shooting at the Parkland school.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 26, 2018)

    "There is no legal duty that can be found," Piper said. "At its very worst, Scot Peterson is accused of being a coward. That does not equate to bad faith."

    The commission voted Wednesday to condemn Peterson's actions, calling him "derelict" in his duties.

    Cruz, a 20-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student, has pleaded not guilty, but his lawyers have said he would plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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