A panel reviewing the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which occurred on February 14, 2018, concluded that armed teachers, stronger security and better law enforcement are needed to prevent similar tragedies in the future.
In the 407-page report issued Wednesday, the state commission investigating the shooting outlined a series of failures by Broward County agencies and numerous security breaches as contributing to the high number of casualties, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Chief among the issues were the deputies’ failure to act, leaving doors unlocked, and not calling a “Code Red” alarm quickly enough. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety commission met seven times since April, The Tampa Bay Times reports.
The biggest criticism of the Broward Sheriff’s Office was their active shooter policy, which states deputies “may” respond, rather than “shall” go in and confront the shooter. The panel believes it should be clear that law enforcement must go in immediately after the shooter. The Orlando Sentinel reports the panels found “The use of the word “may” in the BSO [Broward Sheriff’s Office] policy is ambiguous and does not unequivocally convey the expectation that deputies are expected to immediately enter an active assailant scene where gun fire is active and neutralize the threat.”
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a member of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, told the Orlando Sentinel the language needed to be strengthened.
“I think we need to say in the strongest terms that was a poor decision to use the word ‘may.’ It should be ‘shall.’ That is a best practice, and I think the overwhelming majority of people in our industry agree with that,” she said in the story.
The 15-members of the safety panel voted to include a proposal to arm teachers that undergo a selection process that would include background checks and training.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a member of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that the guardian program to arm certain school employees, such as security guards, administrators or librarians. should be expanded to allow teachers to carry guns.
“In the ideal world, we shouldn’t need anyone on campus with a gun, but that’s not the world we live in today,” Sheriff Judd told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “One’s not enough. Two’s not enough. We need multiple people in order to protect the children.”
“This was the most preventable school shooting that I’ve ever seen data on,” the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports Ryan Petty, a commission member whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina was killed in the attack, said. “This kid was screaming for help by publishing his intentions.”