Parkland School Shooting Panel: Arm Teachers; Broward Sheriff’s Dept Failed!
The official Florida investigative panel that has studied the rampage that left 17 people dead at a Parkland high school last year has made it clear in a 439 page report:
Teachers need to be armed and the Broward County school system as well as sheriff’s office had “widespread failures”!
The commission’s 15 members issued a unanimously approved the report Wednesday. It was aimed at preventing similar attacks and improving the response should they occur.
“Anybody who thinks we’re going to get rid of guns is crazy. We’ve got to do something,” said the sheriff.
The report and its recommendations were sent to the governor’s office and Legislature for consideration.
“All stakeholders … should embrace the opportunity to change and make Florida schools the safest in the nation,” the report says. “There must be a sense of urgency – and there is not, across-the-board – in enhancing school safety.”
Allowing specially trained teachers with concealed-weapons licences to carry in the classroom was among the recommendations offered by the commission. Only one commission member voted against the armed-teacher proposal.
The Orlando Weekly explains:
“Personal and system failures”
Culminated in the mass shooting that left 14 students and three faculty members dead and 17 people wounded at a Broward County high school, according to a report by a state panel that spent months investigating the Valentine’s Day massacre.
The report, unanimously approved Wednesday by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, blamed the Broward County school system and sheriff’s office for being unprepared. For delays in responding to the volley of bullets from the AR-15 rifle used by confessed killer Nikolas Cruz.
According to the 446-page report, sheriff’s deputies spent several minutes donning bullet-proof vests. Others hid behind cars. Cruz methodically went from room to room gunning down teachers and teenagers at his former school.
Cruz, who has pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of murder, had a lengthy history of mental-health problems and run-ins with authority figures, including law enforcement and school officials, leading up to the Feb. 14 assault on the Parkland school in an affluent neighborhood in western Broward County.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, chairman of the commission, spoke to reporters defending the proposal:
“This isn’t about ideology. This is about reality, and this is about making sure that we can save kids’ lives,” Gualtieri said.
Gualtieri noted that Cruz reloaded five times during the minutes-long assault.
“Anybody who thinks we’re going to get rid of guns is crazy. We’ve got to do something,” said the sheriff, who at one time opposed allowing teachers to carry weapons but has since reversed his stance.
Teachers should have “an absolutely rigorous selection process” and training, Gualtieri said. He added that Floridians “have to be realistic” about the threats schools are facing.
The “best possibility” to reduce the harm to students and faculty is to have someone trained with a gun on campus, he said. “And that’s school staff,” he said.