Teacher says school asked to be notified if Cruz arrived with backpack

Math teacher: Cruz was 'quiet kid'

By BRIAN TODD AND JOE STERLING, CNN
Susan Stocker - Pool/Getty Images

The suspect in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Nikolas Cruz, makes a court appearance on a closed-circuit television screen during a bond hearing on Feb. 15, 2018.

(CNN) - A math teacher at the Florida high school where a former student is accused of shooting dead 17 students said an administrator had asked more than a year ago to be notified if Nikolas Cruz came on campus with a backpack.

Jim Gard, a math teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, said he got the request in an e-mail around November or December of 2016. Gard said the administrator provided no explanation.

Cruz, 19, was a student in Gard's math class at the time the e-mail was sent, Gard said. The student was in the class for only a couple of months in the second quarter, and he never posed any problems, the teacher said.

In an interview Wednesday with CNN's Jim Sciutto on "Erin Burnett OutFront," Gard described Cruz as a "quiet kid."

"I think I had Nick in the first semester like in 2016," he said.

In that interview, Gard was asked whether the school had been concerned about Cruz earlier and said that some of the students said the teen had been disciplined.

"Some of the girls in my class said that, I guess, he had some problems with other girls."

Gard said he remembered "an e-mail or two from admin" but couldn't remember the content in the messages.

"If I was on my laptop, I could probably go back and find it and know for sure. Of course, admin would know a whole lot better about that than I."

Gard said he shielded six students in his classroom from the shooter, who was about 50 feet away.

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