Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, was warned by a retired Secret Service agent two months before the February shooting that claimed 17 lives that it could be vulnerable to such an event.
Retired agent Steve Wexler made school administrators aware of the pitfalls, which included unlocked gates and students without identification badges, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Wexler said he noted a fire alarm could send students streaming into the halls — which is what happened on Feb. 14 — and that the school’s active-shooter drills were inadequate.
“They don’t know where the shooter is…”: Shooter unloads at Florida high school, “20-50” injured… https://t.co/kptLc5UplS pic.twitter.com/TwSSgCNFbg
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 14, 2018
“I said, ‘This stuff is blatantly obvious. You’ve got to fix this,’” Wexler told the paper.
He explained that he was invited to analyze the high school’s security and strolled through the halls unopposed, sticking Post-it notes where students were vulnerable to an attack — the Post-it notes where numbered 1-20, to indicate victims — Wexler handed #1 to a teacher he passed.
“Nobody challenged me,” Wexler said. “No one approached me — ‘Who are you?’”
Suspected shooter gave student warning before Parkland massacre: ‘Things are about to get messy’ https://t.co/uWatOU4EpL pic.twitter.com/Xks3kx1Biw
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 17, 2018
Ironically, his tour ended at Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Scot Peterson’s office, but he had exhausted his supply of Post-it notes. This being the now-retired deputy who failed to enter the school to confront the shooter as he gunned down children.
“The school resource officer had his back turned to the door while working on his computer,” the paper reported.
In effect, Peterson was oblivious to it all.
Florida cop who ‘did nothing’ at shooting was ‘School Cop of the Year’ https://t.co/3Ir9p9Au9V pic.twitter.com/jBvVyVGnT1
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 24, 2018
Wexler told the Sun-Sentinel he presented his recommendations to four staff, saying he never heard another word from the district.
Those four officials were assistant principals Denise Reed and Winfred Porter, school security specialist Kelvin Greenleaf and Sandra Davis, a teacher who invited Wexler on campus.
School district spokeswoman Tracy Clark confirmed that “a school administrator did discuss security recommendations from an individual last year,” but did not provide the newspaper with details.
Wexler is a 27 year Secret Service veteran who retired in 2014. His two grandchildren graduated from Stoneman Douglas, and he spoke regularly to classes at the school.
“Those kids didn’t have to die,” the retired Secret Service agent said.
In the end, like many others, he’s looking for accountability. Why did the school not act on his recommendations.
“Where on the food chain did that information die?” Wexler asked.
And we wait.
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