Broward County school board fights allegations of mishandling confessed shooter prior to Parkland massacre
Victim attorneys argue district should have warned MSD students of potential danger regarding Cruz
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Attorneys for the Broward County school board were back in court on Wednesday, filing a motion to dismiss certain allegations they say have nothing to do with the shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School nearly two years ago.
School board attorneys, along with attorneys representing the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Andrew Medina, a former campus monitor, and confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz’s public attorney were in court for the hearing.
The motion filed by school board attorneys seeks to dismiss allegations that the district should have warned students about Cruz and handled its discipline of him differently.
According to the attorneys, the district could not have predicted back in 2016, when Cruz was a student at MSD, what he could be capable of two years later, when he no longer attended the school.
“We cannot be held to a duty to warn the world to 3,000 students to something arising out of a child who was no longer at the school,” Eugene Pitts, attorney for the Broward County school board, said. “He had been gone for a year at this point in time and we think the duty to warn is misplaced.”
An attorney for some of the victims argued the school board knew Cruz was a threat to everyone on campus.
“We aren’t saying they have a duty to predict exact events that Cruz was going to do what he did, although in reality, sadly, they did know,” attorney David Brill said. “They searched this kid every day before school to see if he’s bringing weapons.”
The school board released a statement saying it is working to improve safety and security.
“However, the district also maintains that many of the allegations set forth in these lawsuits go far beyond the bounds of Florida law and attempt to place additional duties and responsibilities on the district that are not recognized or supported by legal precedent,” the statement said.
The judge will need some time to go through documents and issue her ruling on whether or not she will dismiss some or any of the motions.
The next hearing is in February.
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