School resource officers should have access to student records, father of MSD victim says

By Terrell Forney - Reporter

SUNRISE, Fla. - Years before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, school districts like Broward were performing site security evaluations.

But those reports, later examined by the MSD Public Safety Commission, revealed red flags.

"My assessment is the districts aren't taking this seriously," said Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina, 14, was killed in the Feb. 14 shooting. 

Petty now sits on the commission tasked with investigating what went wrong before and during the shooting and compiling solutions.

One problem, he said, is that current school resource officers don’t have access to student records.

"I think the threat assessment teams need to have a complete picture of that student's disciplinary record and other information so they can accurately paint a picture of the threat that student may or may not pose," Petty said. "They're not getting that now."

"One of the crucial factors is a threshold issue --  what is the role of the SRO?" Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. "In today's environment -- post MSD -- what do we want the primary role of the SRO to be?"

The commission is in the middle of examining the troubled signs that Nikolas Cruz displayed well before the massacre and the so-called inactions of former Deputy Scot Peterson, who was the only SRO on campus when the gunman unleashed his terror. 

Peterson failed to confront the shooter, which is something everyone agrees can’t happen again.

"Schools are not going to make themselves safe," said Max Schachter, whose son, Alex, 14, was also killed in the shooting. "Parents are not going to pressure their school districts if they think everything is fine."

 

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