Shows that Nikolas Cruz did request emotional and behavioral treatment…
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) A new investigation shows that in the year leading up to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, shooter Nikolas Cruz was stripped of counseling and other therapeutic services despite evidence that he was mentally unstable.
When Cruz asked to return to a special education campus, school officials fumbled his request, according to a new consultant report commissioned by the Broward public school system.
The report reveals what the school district knew about Cruz and the mistakes they made.
The consultant found that the district largely followed the laws, providing special education to the shooter starting when he was 3 years old after he had been kicked out of day care.
But “two specific instances were identified,” the report says, where school officials did not follow the requirements of Florida statute or federal laws governing students with disabilities.
The first was that school officials misstated Cruz’s options when he faced removal from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, leading him to refuse special education services and further counseling.
Because of this, Cruz didn’t have access to school counseling or other necessary services for 14 months leading up to the shooting on Feb. 14, the report says.
The second misstep was when Cruz asked to return to a calmer environment in Cross Creek School for special education students, the district “did not follow through.”
The Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said the report does not change the school’s conclusions, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
“Nobody ever said this was an average child,” Runcie said of Cruz. “The district was the one — out of all the agencies — that was providing some level of service to the child.”
Runcie previously defended the school’s actions, saying that the district was unable to provide special services because Cruz was 18-years-old and didn’t want the emotional and behavioral treatment.
But this report shows that he did, in fact, request such treatment, and that his request went nowhere.
Gordon Weekes, one of Cruz’s attorneys, said that although the report reveals striking details about the school’s negligence, the district is using it to try and cover their tracks.
“I think that the report is an attempt by the school board to absolve itself of any liability or responsibility for all the missed opportunities that they had in this matter,” Weekes said.