School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Former School Security Officer Arrested For Inaction During Parkland Massacre

By Tribune News Service — June 11, 2019 1 min read

Scot Peterson, the school security officer who stayed outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while students were screaming and shot to death in their classrooms, was arrested and jailed last week on charges of neglecting his duty.

Peterson is charged with seven counts of child neglect with great bodily harm, three counts of culpable negligence and exposure to harm, and one count of perjury, records show.

Broward County Judge Jackie Powell set bonds totaling $102,000 with conditions that included Peterson surrender his passport. His lawyers sought to keep him out of jail until his passport could be retrieved, but Powell denied the request.

The extraordinary case of a cop charged with failure to act could land Peterson in prison for up to 97 years, though some experts warn that the charges will be difficult to prove.

Peterson was the closest law enforcement official to the gunman during the massacre in Parkland, Fla., last year and likely the only one who could have intervened when a 19-year-old former student gunned down 17 people. While there was little time for anyone to save 11 people murdered on the ground level, authorities believe Peterson could have saved people on the third floor if he had tried.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 12, 2019 edition of Education Week as Former School Security Officer Arrested For Inaction During Parkland Massacre

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