State troopers are being sent into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday to help settle fears expressed after four disturbing student arrests and the suspension of a deputy who fell asleep on guard duty this week.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott sent in officers from the Florida Highway Patrol to help secure the high school at which a mass shooting incident took place on Feb. 14. Seventeen people lost their lives in the shooting crime.
The Washington Times reports that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said he had accepted Scott’s offer to send officers from the Florida Highway Patrol.
“This will ensure that all entrances and exits at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are secure to ensure the safety of the students, teachers, and employees,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “We thank Governor Scott for his continued support and partnership.”
The extra security is in response to incidents, which left the school community uneasy.
In a letter, Scott said: “Today, my office heard from parents of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, including parents who lost their children during the February attack. They are still concerned about student safety at the school. Recent events at the school have demonstrated the need for additional security measures to be implemented.”
Eight armed officers were to be assigned to the school until “a more permanent safety plan can be put into place.”
The incidents that had the school community up in arms include:
- Zachary Cruz, the brother of Nikolas Cruz, who confessed to perpetrating the mass shooting at the high school, was arrested Monday for trespassing at the school. It was his third such offense since the shooting and he was told by the vice principal not to return.Cruz has also reportedly had disturbing conversations with his brother, discussing how “popular” and well-known he’d become since the shooting, as well as suggesting the possibility of starting a fan club for Nikolas Cruz.
The judge in his case set his bond at $500,000.
- Student Jordan Slater, 18, was accused of threatening a student. She was arrested Tuesday after being accused of reaching inside her bra to pull out a 2-inch black handle knife to threaten the other teen.
- Student Gavin Stricker, 17, was arrested Tuesday after security specialist Kelvin Greenleaf said he found a 9-inch knife in Stricker’s backpack. Students reported seeing him carrying it while riding the school bus Monday.
- A third student was committed and had a psychological evaluation after he posted two threatening messages on Snapchat.
“In one image, the teen displays a gun in his waistband. In a second image, he shows off bullets,” Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Joy Oglesby said. “The detective said both as photos had threatening messages.”
He was charged with a misdemeanor for making the Snapchat threat.The sophomore was hospitalized under Florida’s Baker Act law, due to self-inflicted wounds to his left arm.
Oglesby said the teen will be booked into the Juvenile Assessment Center after he is medically cleared.
- Deputy Moises Carotti was suspended with pay Tuesday for appearing to have fallen asleep in his patrol car while on duty at the school.
Carotti was found asleep by a student at about 5 p.m. on Monday, according to local news reports.
“Security at Marjory Stoneman Douglas continues to be an urgent priority for us,” Superintendent Robert Runcie said. “Given the developments over the past 24 hours, we will further enhance school safety measures. Communications on details will be forthcoming tomorrow.”