Nearly one year after the Parkland school shooting, the Parkland Public Safety Commission has released an eyebrow raising report that highlights missteps made in school security measures and calls for arming teachers.
The 458 page report begins with a detailed analysis of the timeline of events as they unfolded, beginning with the shooter’s arrival by Uber at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. It also examines the the law enforcement’s response – or lack there of.
It also found that several doors were left unlocked due to foot traffic in and out of buildings and there were also gaps in the security tape because the shooter entered and exited the teachers’ lounge, which had no security cameras in the room.
The response by the school resource officer, Scot Peterson and the Broward County Sheriff’s department, under the direction of Scott Israel, was heavily criticized. The panel noting that “Peterson was repeatedly untruthful about where he was from the moment he first heard the gunshots through the end of the massacre. In a statement given on Feb. 16, 2018, to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Peterson said that he was in his office at the time he heard what he believed to be firecrackers. But video indicates he was elsewhere on campus.”
Chairman of the Commission, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, said changes to the school’s security system should have happened years ago and because of the failure to do so, it left weak spots that the shooter took advantage of.
Gualtieri says it’s urgent the school system fix the problems and suggests other systems do the same.
“There needs to be a sense of urgency,” he said. “And people need to understand that there’s an expectation and a rightful expectation on the part of parents: When you send your kids to school in the morning, there’s an expectation they’re going to come home alive in the afternoon and there are very basic things.
Additionally, the report calls for arming of teachers as a means of extra security and Gualtieri noted that the shooter had paused five times to reload — providing opportunities to stop him.
“So what are we saying to people — we’re not going to allow you to defend yourself, we’re not going to allow you to defend the kids — why? Because of some ideology that we don’t like guns? Anyone who thinks they’re going to get rid of guns is crazy,” he said. “It isn’t going to happen. We’ve got to do something differently and people should be able to protect themselves.”
Dana Loesch, an NRA spokesperson who appeared at the CNN Townhall shortly after the shooting, went on Martha MacCaullum to talk about the report’s findings.