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Four Stoneman Douglas High School Employees Transferred After Parkland Shooting Missteps

Charles Trainor Jr.
Miami Herald
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Assistant Principal Denise Reed hugs a school employee as she returns to campus with flowers on Feb. 23, 2018, following the mass shooting. Reed is among four school employees who are being reassigned.

A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School administrator who predicted Nikolas Cruz might become a school shooter — and joked with others that the troubled student might target him specifically — is among the latest people to face consequences for missteps in handling the Feb. 14 shooting there.

Stoneman Douglas Assistant Principal Jeff Morford and three other staff members will be reassigned, Broward County Public Schools announced Monday.

Read more: FBI Will Upgrade Tipline, Add Staff After Missing Warnings About Parkland Shooter

A state investigative commission tasked with looking into the shooting recently revealed that Morford had a conversation with campus monitors last year about Cruz's potential to shoot up a school.

During the conversation, the staff members "joked that Cruz would likely come for … Morford first because Morford frequently had issues with Cruz," according to the report released earlier this month from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. The panel's work is being overseen by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Morford — along with fellow assistant principals Winfred Porter, Jr., and Denise Reed, and security specialist Kelvin Greenleaf — "are being reassigned to other BCPS administrative locations," according to a news release from the school district. A spokeswoman declined to answer questions about why specifically the staff members were being disciplined or why they were being transferred rather than fired.

Earlier this month, the state commission reviewed a presentation with more than 600 slides detailing what happened virtually every second after the first shots were fired that day. In addition to demonstrating that Morford knew Cruz was dangerous, the report also made frequent mention of Porter and Greenleaf.

Porter contributed to law enforcement's slow response to the third floor of building 12, where 10 people had been shot. Porter at first told police the surveillance footage they were watching was live when it was actually delayed by 26 minutes. The footage made police believe Cruz was still in the building and armed when he had actually already fled, causing them to stay put rather than advance to the third floor to attend to the dead and wounded.

Porter eventually told law enforcement that the videos were not live. After that, it still took seven minutes before officers moved to the third floor, where six victims were dead. Four ultimately survived.

The report also stated that Greenleaf heard gunfire in building 12 but retreated to another building on campus rather than entering.

Greenleaf was with two other people who have since faced harsh scrutiny for their behavior: Former Broward Sheriff's Office deputy Scot Peterson resigned under pressure after it came out that he hid for nearly an hour rather than attempting to confront Cruz. Former security guard Andrew Medina, who has been fired, was the first to see Cruz on campus and identified that he was carrying a rifle bag but did not call for a lockdown or code red.

Reed is not mentioned by name in the commission's recent report.

Also following the panel's November meeting, a BSO captain who was described as being in a "trance" and in "over her head" on Feb. 14 resigned.

Jessica Bakeman is Director of Enterprise Journalism at WLRN News, and she is the former senior news editor and education reporter. Her 2021 project "Class of COVID-19" won a national Edward R. Murrow Award.
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