Parkland Shooting Accountability: DeSantis Suspends Four Broward County School Board Members

Over four years after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, school board members and resource officers continue to be held accountable for their failure to protect students from the violent rampage that took the lives of seventeen and injured seventeen others.

Scot Peterson, a Broward Sheriff’s Deputy facing trial for criminal negligence for failing to protect students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, will not see his day in court until February 2023.

Last week, a grand jury recommended four members of the Broward School Board should be removed for  “deceit, malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty and incompetence.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis heeded their advice on Friday and suspended all four members.

The four members suspended were Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray, and Laurie Rich.

DeSantis said it is his “duty to suspend people from office when there is clear evidence of incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance or malfeasance.”

The Governor’s office released a statement saying the school board has neglected to install basic security measures, even after the tragic shooting, calling it ‘inexcusable.’

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“Even four years after the events of February 14, 2018, the final report of the Grand Jury found that a safety-related alarm that could have possibly saved lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School ‘was and is such a low priority that it remains uninstalled at multiple schools,’ and ‘students continue to be educated in unsafe, aging, decrepit, moldy buildings that were supposed to have been renovated years ago,’” The statement reads. “These are inexcusable actions by school board members who have shown a pattern of emboldening unacceptable behavior, including fraud and mismanagement, across the district.”

Some of DeSantis’ critics took exception to the decision on Twitter, with one calling the jury “rigged.”

For his part, DeSantis released a statement saying the move was a “step towards justice.”

“The findings of the Statewide Grand Jury affirm the work of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Commission,” he said. “We are grateful to the members of the jury who have dedicated countless hours to this mission, and we hope this suspension brings the Parkland community another step towards justice. This action is in the best interest of the residents and students of Broward County and all citizens of Florida.”

Additional stories you may want to read:

Controversial decisions ahead in Parkland trials for shooter and Deputy Peterson

Florida deals with active shooter by ‘shooting him a lot’

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