Judge: Florida School Had No Duty to Warn Parents of Deadly Student
Another legal ruling reinforces that the very people you depend on for security have no responsibility to you or your family when that security massively fails.
A Florida judge has ruled that a local school district had no responsibility to warn students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School of the danger posed by a former student who shot and killed 17 people during a mass shooting spree at the school.
The decision by Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning was a significant victory for the Broward School Board and a painful loss for the Parkland families suing the district for the lapses they say allowed the gunman to operate unchecked until it was too late.
Nikolas Cruz, then 19, killed 17 people at the Parkland high school and wounded 17 more while stalking the halls with an AR-15 rifle on Valentine’s Day 2018.
Cruz is awaiting trial on multiple murder charges and faces the death penalty if convicted. The school district, Cruz, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and on-duty deputies who failed to prevent or stop the massacre have been sued by numerous family members of the slain and surviving victims.
“How is a kid supposed to feel safe attending a public school under those conditions?” said Alex Arreaza, Borges’ lawyer. “That ruling puts every child in danger. To think that the school board has no obligation to warn us of anyone else like Nikolas Cruz in the system should give all parents a deep concern.”
It has been well reported that no one seemed to pay any attention to numerous warning signs of Cruz's behavior.
Disciplined repeatedly in school, treated for mental health issues, crushed after his mother died — more signs of unheeded red flags are emerging about the young man accused of murdering 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland...
A video blogger in Mississippi revealed that he alerted the FBI in September when a commenter named Nikolas Cruz wrote on his YouTube page: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”
Robert Lasky, FBI special agent in charge, acknowledged the contact was made, but said the agency couldn’t track the commenter down and did not connect it to South Florida. The agency’s office in Jackson., Miss., interviewed the person who called, YouTube user Ben Bennight, 36, about it, and checked an internal database and other sources.
“No additional information was found to positively identify the person who posted this comment,” Lasky said.
Bennight told CNN that when he saw news of Wednesday’s shooting, he recognized the name and thought, “Wow, I hope you were at least watching this guy that I alerted you to months ago."
There you have it. Another example of the legal and practical conundrum that we face as private citizens. Repeatedly we are told to wait for the police to respond to violent situations. In fact we are forced into "gun free zones "which have proven to be the environment in which essentially all mass shootings take place. And yet when the directive to let "the police" handle it fails due to incompetence, lack of resources, or sheer cowardliness, the legal system tells us they are not responsible.
I've attached related posts on the same subject at the bottom of the page here. We are continuing to see rising crime rates, societal and cultural fracturing, and political decisions which are certain to keep upward pressure on the kinds of violence we are seeing now.
For you and I this means the responsibility for our safety in our immediate environment falls on us.
Here's it is what I would suggest all of us do:
1. The reality of the situation is dire. Begin planning and training accordingly.
2. Stop and become more aware of your surrounding environment and the environments in which you live, work, and transition through.
3. Get First Aid training. At the minimum, seek out the Red Cross training for First Aid and CPR.
4. Get in shape. Strong people are harder to kill.
5. Get training in -- and practice -- basic hand-to-hand defense.
6. Get training in -- and practice -- armed self-defense. At the minimal level, get your concealed carry permit or license as dictated by your state.
7. Commit to action: detect, deter, deny, and defend.
8. Remember -- no one is coming to save you.