I got a copy of the unedited version of the report as it was posted in the Sun Sentinel. There is a lot of legalese and bureau-speak in it, but some things make you wonder how inept the School system in Broward County can be.
This section of the report was, for lack of better and polite words, surprising as hell:
Review of discipline data reveals that September 2016 the student received a referral for fighting. He was assigned two days of AES. The parent was contacted, and a referral was made to the school social worker. Shortly thereafter, at the end of September 2016 the student was referred for the use of insulting or profane language, including carrying a backpack with an offensive symbol and profanity written on it. At this same time another student reported that he had spoken to her about depression and suicidal thoughts, and that he said he drank gasoline in an effort to hurt himself and had engaged in cutting behavior.
Broward County Public Schools implements a three-step threat assessment process that includes: (1) Initial Response; (2) Level 1 Screening; and (3) Level 2 In-Depth Assessment. The process is intended to “ensure timeliness of response, safety of all in the school environment, and deployment of the school’s resources in the most efficient manner, according to the facts of each individual case.)38In response to these reports of the potential for self-harm, a threat assessment was initiated.
The Level 1 screening process was conducted by a team that included an assistant principal, school social worker, one of the student’s teachers, and a school resource officer (SRO). In addition, written input was obtained from five of the student’s teachers and the student was interviewed. In analyzing the student’s instigating behaviors, which were focused on the potential for self-harm, the team completed the Assessing Level of Threat Checklist. The following items under the High Level of Threat category were checked:
-Threat is direct, specific, and plausible.
-Threat suggests concrete steps have been taken toward carrying it out. Examples include student statements indicating acquisition or practice with a weapon and/or having the victims under surveillance.
-Context of the threat suggests student has secured resources, has definite intent and motivation, and/or there is a strong history of conflict and previous high-risk behaviors. The recommendations checked on the form were: “Initiate Level 1 Screening process (for medium and high levels of threat)” and “Contact law enforcement.” Based on discussions with staff members, it is understood that the SRO’s participation on the team constituted contact with law enforcement, as the SRO was there in the capacity of a law enforcement official.
So basically, they knew that Cruz was a threat as early as late September 2016. He had suicidal tendencies and was aggressive. The actions taken were less than illustrious, but this one takes the cake IMHO:
During interviews with school staff it was reported that the Henderson YES team determined commitment under the Baker Act was not warranted and that the SRO did not pursue it under his law enforcement authority. Staff also reported that a daily monitoring meeting with a school resource officer was implemented, and the student was no longer allowed to bring a backpack to school. Instead, he maintained a folder in each classroom and used a single folder to transport from back and forth from school to home.
Here is one of those many moments that could have made the difference. This is a kid with over a decade of mental issues and the last couple of years, it had degenerated into violence. One simple commitment under Baker Act and he would have become a Prohibited Person and thus, unable to buy the rifle at the gun store.
And the answer as to why nobody, specially in the Media is talking about this report is that this is an election year and the same Broward politicians that brought us this massacre are for re-election and the Local Media is hush about it less they mess with their campaigns.
Anyway, they will not be removed from office, they will probably be re-elected and dangerous students will not be removed from schools and their records will be bleached into beatific purity.