PARKLAND, Fla. – After learning that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School principal will be resigning, some of the parents of slain students reacted to the news Friday evening.
Ryan Petty, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Alaina, was appointed to the state commission that is investigating the failures that led to the 2018 Valentine's Day massacre. He has had access to evidence that he believes shows there was incompetence at the school.
"Leadership failures at MSD were in part responsible for the tragedy," Petty said.
In December, the state commission was critical of school principal Ty Thompson, who is under investigation by the Broward County school district. Thompson announced that he was resigning partly because of his health. The district assigned his tasks to other school administrators.
Petty also said Thompson's lack of leadership created a culture of leniency, which coupled with an attitude of denial, enabled the killer, a former MSD student, to kill his daughter and 16 other people.
"New leadership at MSD was long overdue," Petty said. "Hopefully, with a new leader at the helm at MSD more attention will be given to the safety and security."
Broward County School Board Member Lori Alhadeff, who lost her 14-year-old daughter Alyssa, agreed with Petty.
"You need to be responsible for threat assessments and how they work and how they are implemented and be actively involved in those threat assessments and Mr. Thompson was not," Alhadeff said.
Thompson was not present at the school the day of the shooting.
"When the MSD community feels safe, only then can we begin to move forward," Petty said.