Parkland Families Slam Broward Sheriff for Lack of Armed Guards at Summer Schools

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks to the media while Florida Governor Rick Scott listens outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one day after a shooting at the school left 17 dead, in Parkland, Fla., February 15, 2018. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

Family members of the victims of this February’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla. have expressed outrage that Broward County did not install armed guards at summer-school locations in the district.

Despite promises that there would be armed security guards in every school by the start of the school year, 28 summer-school sites were left with no such guards to protect the third-graders enrolled there.

“I’m told by the department that does those summer reading camps, [that] there is funding that can be provided to schools to cover security,” Broward County School District spokesperson Tracy Clark said. “They may have gotten a campus monitor, a security specialist. Maybe not an armed security person, but providing some security on campus.”

A disturbed former student fatally shot 17 and injured another 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland on Valentine’s Day. Since then, the school district and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office have taken heat for their shoddy handling of the tragedy, including three deputies who hid behind their vehicles outside as children were gunned down in the school.

Ryan Petty, the father of 14-year-old Alaina Petty, who died in the Parkland shooting, said the Broward County School Board “rolled the dice just 4 months after MSD and attempted to cover it up.” Petty is running for a seat on the Board.

The father of 16-year-old Carmen, who passed away in the shooting agreed, charging the school district with “gambling with the lives of students and teachers.”

Parkland student survivor Kyle Kashuv, a Second Amendment advocate, called out the sheriff’s office for failing students last school year.

A new Florida law requires every school campus to retain an armed safety officer. Earlier this week, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office announced overhauled security plans for the new school year, which included the provision of such officers to schools.

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