On Friday, The Sun Sentinel reported the findings of a special report conducted by the Broward public school system on the Parkland High School shooter, Nikolas Cruz. The report, which was redacted but due to an error in the publication, could be read entirely by copy and pasting into a different document, found that Cruz had asked for help from the school system but they did not follow through on his request.
From The New York Times:
The report revealed that two months after Mr. Cruz was forced to leave Stoneman Douglas, he tried to take the school’s earlier advice and enroll in Cross Creek. His mother said “he had come to realize that the only way he would achieve his goal of graduating from high school” was to do so, the report says.
The district was required to respond to Mr. Cruz’s request for special-needs services, known as exceptional student education, within 30 days, the report found. Instead, the district told Mr. Cruz that it would need to evaluate his eligibility for assistance — despite his 15-year record in the school system — and that the process could take six weeks.
The process never began: For a new special-needs evaluation to take place, Mr. Cruz first had to re-enroll in Stoneman Douglas. An administrator said it was too late in the school year to take him back.
Because of failing grades, Cruz withdrew from school. Three days later, he purchased the AR-15 he used one year later in the Parkland shooting.
It’s obvious to see from the report, that Cruz had a long history of alarming behavior, so it’s a hard to say if receiving additional support from the high school would have changed the outcome of the Parkland shooting.
What it does point out, is that the school system failed to properly do their job.
Those instances, from the Sun Sentinel:
— School officials misstated Cruz’s options when he was faced with being removed from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School his junior year, leading him to refuse special education services.
— When Cruz asked to return to the therapeutic environment of Cross Creek School for special education students, the district “did not follow through,” the report reveals.
In part because of the errors, Cruz had no school counseling or other special education services in the 14 months leading up to the shooting on Feb. 14, the report says.
Maybe with all the evidence coming to light that not only did the Broward County Sheriff’s department botch their on the scene response procedures but the school system also failed Cruz, people will stop blaming legal gun owners and the NRA for something they had nothing to do with?