Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Nearly a year after its first meeting, the state commission tasked with investigating the Parkland school shooting and making recommendations designed to prevent future massacres considered what its role should be in studying Florida’s mental health treatment system.

The members’ conclusion: It’s not our job.

“Mental health is a big topic. I think we have to be careful about transforming this into a mental health commission,” the commission’s chair, Pinellas County sheriff Bob Gualtieri, said during Wednesday’s meeting at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

Associated Press

Lawyers representing the families of students and staff killed or injured in last year's mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland began filing 20 lawsuits on Wednesday against defendants including: the Broward County School Board, the Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO), Broward County Sheriff's officer Scot Peterson, MSD campus monitor Andrew Medina and Henderson Behavioral Health Inc. of Florida.

The shared complaint, at least of the first 10 suits filed, is negligence:

Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

Families who lost loved ones in the Parkland school shooting likely won’t find monetary relief from the Florida Legislature this year.

Bills seeking to avert litigation by creating a taxpayer-backed assistance fund haven’t gotten a hearing, and they aren’t likely to pass this session, which ends on May 3.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

This story was updated at 4:10 p.m.  on Wednesday, April 10. 

Families of Parkland school shooting victims are filing at least 22 lawsuits against the Broward County school board, sheriff's office and others, alleging they failed to prevent the attack that left 17 people dead and another 17 injured.

Sherrilyn Cabrera / WLRN

The state commission investigating the Parkland school shooting reviewed on Tuesday safety improvements Florida school districts have made since the February 2018 massacre and debated whether to create a system that rates districts on their safety.

art therapy
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

It was too early on Friday morning for students to be inside the Coral Springs Museum of Art but board-certified music therapist, Bree Gordon was already prepared for them. She was strumming on her guitar in the corner - surrounded by windows, and pillows and blankets. 

"Talk, grab a snack, sing, make art …. Whatever it is, the pressure's off," she said. 

 

Eagles' Haven
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The Eagles' Haven Wellness Center is just over a mile away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Coral Springs. The center was scheduled to open at the end of April but decided to start offering services this week after two survivors of last year's shooting died by apparent suicide. 

Since then, more than 100 people have come through the center's doors, seeking connection to therapies or just a place to have a cup of coffee and talk to someone.

Broward Superintendent Introduces New Security Chief

Mar 8, 2019
Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie introduced the district's new security chief, Brian Katz, who was hired following recommendations from The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.

"As father of a child who has been in the Broward School District for 10 years, as volunteer in those schools and as a security professional, I understand the gravity of being the first person to hold this critical role," said Katz.   

Sam Turken / WLRN

The chair of the state commission that investigated the Parkland school shooting told the Broward County School Board on Tuesday that school security improvements across Florida must happen faster.

During a three-hour meeting with the school board, Bob Gualtieri reviewed the recommendations made by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission to enhance school security. Gualtieri, who is also the Pinellas County sheriff, urged board members and Superintendent Robert Runcie to put aside politics to better identify security threats and respond to them.

Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP Pool

A Broward County judge wants the case against the confessed Parkland school shooter to head to trial in January 2020. 

Nikolas Cruz, 20, faces the death penalty if convicted of 17 counts of first-degree murder for the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. He's been charged with another 17 counts of attempted murder.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

More than a year after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Broward County school board voted unanimously to adopt two new emergency policies that state investigators and parents of Parkland victims argue could have saved lives had they been in place sooner.

The board on Wednesday approved a policy clarifying that all staff members are responsible for initiating "code red" lockdowns if they believe there is a threat to students' safety.

AMY BETH BENNETT / South Florida Sun Sentinel via Miami Herald

On Thursday, Feb. 14, Gail Schwartz drove to the Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery in North Lauderdale to visit the grave of her nephew, Alex Schachter.

Schachter was one of the 17 people killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one year ago. He was 14 years old.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

They came to pay their respects, to find community, to look for meaning. They brought bundles of flowers, hand-lettered posters, prayers written on paper hearts.

On Thursday night, thousands of people came to Pine Trails Park to hold vigil on the anniversary of the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Brynn Anderson / AP

Forty-three students and teachers who survived the Parkland massacre on Feb. 14, 2018 have published a compilation of writing, photography and art.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

When Annabel Claprood walks into a room, the first thing she does is look for a place to hide.

The 17-year-old has practiced moving quickly from the driver’s seat of her car to the back, so she can’t be easily seen through the windows.

Her mother, Elyse Claprood, uses her cell phone to closely track her daughter’s location, feeling relief only when she confirms, yes, Annabel is at home. She’s at school. At the horse barn where she volunteers.

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