If your neighborhood has a bully or a person who is prone to violence, you prepare yourself. You are smart, you document the instances where this person has exhibited problematic behavior, maybe have even contacted police and explained the situation. Talked to neighbors about the subject and compared notes. If lucky, the jackass moves or simply ignores you. Or there is something similar happening at work rather than at home and you present your complains to your superior and Human Resources laying the ball at their feet.
In both cases, you do not stop there: You have also made plans on what to do with the person around you or to defend yourself in case the things finally get out of hand. In other words, you do your utmost not to be a victim of violence. It is not a 100% guarantee, but we look for a reduction in the percentage of danger.
So what happens when a county school board does a half ass job on students deemed serious threats?
An audit has found that many Broward County schools were not following the proper procedures for conducting “threat assessments” on students who posed a danger.
After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, the school district asked an outside auditing firm to determine whether administrators systemwide were using all of the required forms and completing them properly.
They were not.
Auditors reviewed a sample of 60 threat assessments — out of 642 entered into a district educational management database over three school years beginning in September 2015. The audit did not include names of schools or students or any specifics of the situations
Let’s look at those numbers again: 642 threats that required assessment. Now add this to the equation: There are 327 schools in Broward County which comes to an average of two serious threats per school. And let’s say only one percent of those threats have the potential to be another mass Shooter or simply somebody who will murder two or one classmate or teacher.
Broward County has the potential of 6 more Nikki Cruz.
But it gets worse:
Among the findings:
— Fourteen cases sampled had no supporting documentation at all.
— Of the 46 that had paperwork, only 16 included records that were “substantially complete.”
— One elementary school evaluation of a “medium-risk” threat was missing 18 required documents.
— Of the samples, no high school conducted a “high-level” threat evaluation properly. One, in fact, did not complete any of the required forms.
The statewide commission reviewed the paperwork for a September 2016 threat assessment done on Nikolas Cruz — the eventual gunman — and found forms missing or incomplete. The school’s assistant principal, Jeff Morford, was unfamiliar with how to do a threat assessment, and the principal, Ty Thompson, was not engaged in the process or routinely informed of them, the commission reported.
Both men are now under internal investigation.
It is getting more and more obvious that the Promise Program was a shell used to whitewash the statistics and make schools look good rather than control possibly dangerous students and avoid violent incidents.
And kids paid with their lives.