As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News offers the following information published by SUN-SENTINEL.COM:
In the year leading up to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killer Nikolas Cruz was stripped of the therapeutic services disabled students need, leaving him to navigate his schooling as a regular student despite mounds of evidence that he wasn’t.
When he asked to return to a special education campus, school officials fumbled his request.
Those conclusions were revealed Friday in a consultant’s report commissioned by the Broward public school system. Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer ordered that the report be released publicly, but with nearly two-thirds of the content blacked out.
The article goes on to state the following:
The school district said the alterations were needed to comply with the shooter’s privacy rights, but the method the district used to conceal the text failed. The blacked-out text became visible when pasted into another computer file.
What emerged was the first detailed account of Cruz’s years in the school system, what the school district knew about him and what mistakes were made.
Without directly criticizing the schools, the consultant, the Collaborative Educational Network of Tallahassee, recommended that the district reconsider how cases like Cruz’s are handled. The recommendations suggest that Cruz could have been offered more help in his final two years in high school, leading up to the Feb. 14 shooting.
Whether that would have changed the outcome is impossible to know.
The consultant found that the district largely followed the laws, providing special education to the shooter starting when he was 3 years old and had already been kicked out of day care. But “two specific instances were identified,” the report says, where school officials did not follow the requirements of Florida statute or federal laws governing students with disabilities.
— School officials misstated Cruz’s options when he was faced with being removed from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School his junior year, leading him to refuse special education services.
— When Cruz asked to return to the therapeutic environment of Cross Creek School for special education students, the district “did not follow through,” the report reveals.
In part because of the errors, Cruz had no school counseling or other special education services in the 14 months leading up to the shooting on Feb. 14, the report says.
In an interview late Friday night, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said that district officials had wanted to release the full report but did not intentionally post it in a way that allowed the blacked-out portions to be read. “I didn’t even know that was possible,” he said.
Additional revelations from the Sun Sentinel report include the following:
In the past, Runcie said that when Cruz turned 18 and rejected special education placement, the district could no longer provide him with the services given to students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. But the consultant’s report reveals for the first time that Cruz himself requested to return to special education, and his request went nowhere.
Three days after he was forced by the district to withdraw from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, he purchased an AR-15 rifle. A year after his ejection from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a school he insisted he would graduate from, he returned and murdered 14 students and three coaches.
Details included information about behavior problems exhibited by Cruz when he was a child:
Neither of the parents who adopted Cruz as a child could be consulted for the report. Roger Cruz died of a heart attack in front of Nikolas Cruz when he was 5. Lynda Cruz died of pneumonia last November.
But the consultant found that Cruz, by the time he was 3, had already been kicked out of a pre-kindergarten program and was identified as a developmentally delayed student needing special education.
He was aggressive — biting, pinching, scratching and pulling hair. He had trouble communicating and following instructions. And he exhibited “animal fantasies” that led to a parent-teacher conference and the assignment of a family counselor in the home. Despite “high levels of reinforcement,” his aggressive animal-like behaviors “appeared to be unpredictable,” the report says, citing school records.
CLICK HERE to read the full report from the Sun Sentinel.
— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) August 4, 2018
.@browardschools are off on summer Fridays, but look what just arrived in my inbox at 5pm: An external investigative report on Nikolas Cruz’s educational career.
Of course, everything we’d want to know about that is redacted: pic.twitter.com/zWl6mF3f1R
— Colleen Wright (@Colleen_Wright) August 3, 2018
Turns out Broward School District’s heavily redacted report they released yesterday on Nikolas Cruz was not redacted properly. All you have to do is copy and paste the document — and boom — goodbye redactions. https://t.co/diypQjLofB
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) August 4, 2018
Judge orders the release of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz’s school records despite defense concerns https://t.co/hWyFh09eR3
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) August 3, 2018
Nikolas Cruz, accused Parkland High School shooter, appears in court https://t.co/DXAcqyxesR
— Circa (@Circa) August 3, 2018
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