The Florida commission investigating the shooting attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has unanimously approved a final report that puts the responsibility for reform on school districts, law enforcement agencies, the incoming governor and state legislative leaders.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel says the 326-page report from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission addresses numerous errors uncovered after the shooting, including fumbled tips, lax school security policies and unaggressive sheriff’s deputies who hung back as shots were fired.
Despite the traumatic impact of the massacre that left 17 dead, the report asserts that many entities such as school districts have been slow to make changes.
“Even after the shooting and the implementation of new Florida law requiring certain safety measures, there remains non-compliance and a lack of urgency to enact basic safety principles in Florida’s K-12 schools,” the report says. “All stakeholders — school districts, law enforcement, mental health providers, city and county governments, funding entities, etc. — should embrace the opportunity to change and make Florida schools the safest in the nation. There must be a sense of urgency — and there is not, across-the-board — in enhancing school safety.”
Nicolas Cruz, a former student at Stoneman Douglas High who allegedly carried out the attack, has been charged with 17 counts of murder and is being held in jail as he awaits trial. Cruz came to the school on the afternoon of Feb. 14, 2018, and allegedly opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle that killed 17 and wounded a dozen more.
The commission consists of law enforcement officers, public officials and parents of the murdered students.
It identified many contributing causes to the tragedy, including "Cruz’s mental and behavioral health issues, people not reporting warning signs or reporting signs that were not acted on by those to whom actionable information was reported, and how Cruz’s behavioral and discipline
issues were addressed (or not addressed) by Broward County Public Schools."
"Also contributing was the overall lack of adequate or effective physical site security and unenforced or non-existent security measures and policies at [the high school], as well as the
ineffective behavioral threat assessment process."
The commission report recommends allowing teachers to carry guns if they go through a selection process that includes training and background checks. The change would require the state legislature's approval.
Under existing law, school systems can arm certain school employees, such as security guards, administrators or librarians.
The report is not the final act of the commission, which has been empaneled until 2023.
“This Commission will continue to proffer recommendations and findings as our work continues," the report says. "We will not wait, we will be vigilant and we, like the Legislature, expect compliance and change with urgency."