'Bring them back,' teachers demand of 4 Stoneman Douglas staffers reassigned

Teachers, students protest reassignments after Parkland school shooting

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Madeleine Wright - Reporter

PARKLAND, Fla. - Teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are demanding that four administrators who were reassigned after a report from the state commission investigating the Valentine's Day mass shooting on campus be reinstated.

About 54 teachers stood outside the school Tuesday morning, wearing maroon Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School T-shirts and chanting, "Bring them back."

Broward County Public Schools released a statement Monday that said three assistant principals -- Jeff Morford, Denise Reed and Winifred Porter Jr.  -- and security specialist Kelvin Greenleaf were being reassigned to other administrative locations. It didn't say why they were being reassigned.

The decision was made after the latest meeting of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission. The school system said it's using material from the commission to improve school safety and student services.

Teachers protesting the decision told Local 10 News they don't feel the reassigned staffers did anything wrong.

"Why did they wait until, you know, mid-November to do this if they were such a mob and such a threat, which they weren't," teacher Gregg Pittman said.

Teachers said the reassignments only disrupts the school's daily operations and hurts the healing process.

"I feel there were many mistakes from the FBI down, but they want our three administrators and our security specialist to pay the price," Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School guidance data specialist Jo Ellen Berman said.

Another teacher held a sign that read, "Stop re-victimizing us."

Students staged a walkout in protest of the reassignments Tuesday morning. A second walkout was planned for later in the day.

Students walk out of class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in protest of the decision to reassign three assistant principals and a security specialist, Nov. 27, 2018, in Parkland, Florida.

However, one parent stood with a bullhorn, urging students to return to class.

"I was doing that because I felt that, you know, after so many months after this tragedy, we're finally getting accountability," parent Gurmeet Matharu said. "And I think that reassignment is the right thing to do while the investigation is still pending."

Fourteen students and three faculty members were killed in the Feb. 14 shooting rampage. Nikolas Cruz, 20, has pleaded not guilty. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

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