Two Marjory Stoneman Douglas baseball coaches who were also security monitors — both widely criticized for not confronting Nikolas Cruz when he entered the high school and killed 17 people — have reportedly become the first school district employees to lose their jobs over the massacre.
Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie announced Tuesday that assistant baseball coaches Andrew Medina and David Taylor won’t return to their full-time jobs as security monitors this coming year at the Parkland, Florida, school, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz described the impending attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in cellphone video released by prosecutors.
During the February 14 attack, the unarmed Medina said he saw Cruz exit an Uber car and enter the campus carrying a black bag, but did not confront him or lock down the school. At the time, Cruz had been expelled from the school and was banned from campus.
Medina reportedly said that when he saw the mass shooting suspect seemingly “bee-lining” for the 1200 building — the location where the shooting, which killed 15 students and 2 adults, unfolded — he warned other campus security guards but did nothing to stop him.
One of them, Taylor, then reportedly hid in a janitor’s closet as Cruz opened fire.
Aaron Feis, a school security guard and a football coach, was shot to death after he confronted Cruz and shielded other students as they escaped.
The decision Tuesday — which Runcie has declined to elaborate on — came after the school initially sought to bring Medina and Taylor back. A list of employees that the school board had intended to bring back drew outrage after circulating on social media.
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“If the Broward School Board approves Monitor Medina after he harassed students, offered them alcohol, told them to cover up, and failed to do job on 2-14, they are nuts,” County Commissioner Michael Udine, a former mayor of Parkland, tweeted earlier this week.
A lawyer representing both coaches says his clients are being treated poorly.
“What kind of due process is that? We could have at least been there to argue points,” Russell Williams told the Sun Sentinel after the school board apparently met without his knowledge to vote that both coaches wouldn’t come back.
In addition to his inaction during the February shooting, Medina was also previously accused in 2017 of sexual harassment by two 17-year-olds at the high school, one of whom was shooting victim Meadow Pollack.
A district investigation found that he asked out one female student and told another that she was “fine as f***,” offering to take her out for drinks, the Sun Sentinel reported. The students “became so uncomfortable with Mr. Medina’s comments and actions, they sought out different routes to their classes in an attempt to avoid him,” the investigation added.
A disciplinary committee of district employees wanted Medina fired over the allegations, but he instead got off with a three-day suspension, as “there was no direct evidence to distinguish between the conflicting statements provided by the students and the employee, there was no inappropriate physical contact, and there was no record of any previous discipline for the employee,” the district said in a statement, according to the Sun Sentinel.
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