No Duty to Protect: Judge Dismisses Shooting Related Claims by Marjory Stoneman Douglas Survivors.

A federal judge last Wednesday dismissed Broward School and Sheriff’s officials, as well as Broward County itself, from a lawsuit filed by 15 students who say the Feb. 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland caused them psychological injury and severe trauma.

But the judge did allow a portion of the suit to go forward against former school resource deputy Scot Peterson – though not for actions taken or not taken in connection to the attack.

The lawsuit, filed in July by the 15 survivors, named as defendants Peterson, now-resigned Capt. Jan Jordan, Sheriff Scott Israel, as well as Broward Schools superintendent Robert Runcie, now-dismissed school monitor Andrew Medina and Broward County government.

They claimed their civil and due process rights were violated by the defendants’ failure to protect them from school shooters.

Federal Judge Dismisses Shooting Related Claims by Marjory Stoneman Douglas Survivors

Not unexpected. Do you wonder if the lawyers ever sat down and explained to their clients this was a fool’s errand? Or is this a case where the lawyers simply did not care and knowingly re allowing their clients to spend their money on an unwinnable task?  have seen this before with the Bradys, right?

5 Replies to “No Duty to Protect: Judge Dismisses Shooting Related Claims by Marjory Stoneman Douglas Survivors.”

  1. SROs are put in the school specifically to protest the students. I can see where the SRO can not be forced to protect any one student, but to hide and do nothing as dozens are shot is a different story.
    What makes this an even larger tragedy is that not only do the SROs have no duty to protect, the state has at the same time prohibited anyone else from protecting the students, either. Not one single school district is allowing anyone other than cops to carry guns. (Even the so-called guardian program is nothing but a few people hired to be armed security- cops by another name) At least arming teachers, the teachers who are armed have an incentive to stop the shooter, since they are locked in there with him.

  2. What Divemedic said.

    SROs are cops, but they are cops tasked with a specific duty: to protect and serve a school and student body. I believe the argument that being a SRO creates the “duty to protect” is a good one (else why do we have SROs?). The judge didn’t buy it in this case, apparently, but that doesn’t mean it’s a meaningless argument.

    The bigger tragedy is that, once again, “safety” is proven to be an illusion. The government at all levels mandated that individuals not be allowed to protect themselves, justified by the government at all levels providing that protection, but with the caveat that no duty to protect exists.

    Basically, the government is saying, “You’re not allowed to protect yourself, but it’s OK because we’ll protect you. Unless it’s dangerous to do so. Or inconvenient. Or we don’t feel like it. But you still can’t protect yourself.”

    If that’s all the good that comes out of this case – the disillusionment of BOTH the notion that the government and its agents can and should be trusted to protect you AND the efficacy of “Gun-Free Zones” – then that’s what we need to keep pounding.

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