Another Broward coward? Stoneman Douglas safety monitor who bailed on Cruz kept on by school board despite sexual harassment allegations
Just when one thinks the depth of incompetence and neglect in Broward County has been reached, it turns out that a little more digging turns up more. The family of one of the murdered students at Stoneman Douglas High School tells the Sun-Sentinel that the school district refused to fire the school’s security monitor after his now-deceased daughter and others accused him of sexual harassment. The decision might have left an incompetent on duty as a mass murderer stalked the hallways:
A discipline committee wanted to fire Marjory Stoneman Douglas coach Andrew Medina last year for sexually harassing two students. But someone overruled them.
Instead, Medina was suspended just three days from his duties as a security monitor – a job he was working months later when he spotted Nikolas Cruz walking onto campus. Medina failed to stop Cruz, and the gunman soon killed 17 staff and students and wounded 17 more.
Among the dead was Meadow Pollack, one of the students Medina, 39, was accused of harassing in February 2017.
The issue of incompetence is not merely hypothetical. It turns out that Medina saw Nikolas Cruz before the shooting took place, but didn’t confront him or set off the alarms. It’s yet another piece of the case that has taken months to come out:
Pollack and other families of victims demanded last week that Medina be removed from the school after hearing video testimony from Medina about the massacre.
Medina, who was not armed, told investigators shortly after the shooting that he didn’t confront Nikolas Cruz or lock down the school. Instead, Medina said he radioed ahead to warn fellow monitor David Taylor that a suspicious kid was headed his way, and Taylor hid in a closet. Both have since been reassigned.
“The School Board still elects to reassign them. It’s mind-boggling and upsetting that no one in the county has been held accountable for what happened,” Andrew Pollack said. “Not one person has lost their job.”
As the local CBS affiliate reports, the Pollacks wonder whether the school board’s decision played a major role in the death of Meadow and 16 other victims of Cruz. They want the board to be held accountable — hell, they want someone to be held accountable:
“If I knew at the time, he would have been fired right away,” Pollack said of Medina. “It’s very unacceptable that the school board allowed this pervert to say stuff to my sister and other girls.”
Pollack also wonders if Medina had been fired over the incidents, maybe a different campus safety monitor would have called for a code red or taken other actions to stop Nikolas Cruz, both of which Medina failed to do.
“I think it’s politically incorrect that they didn’t fire him because if they did, maybe they would have had someone competent to stop [Cruz] from getting on the campus,” Pollack said.
The Broward school board told the CBS affiliate that witness statements conflicted too much to fire Medina, but that doesn’t make much sense. If the witness statements conflicted, why did investigators recommend his termination? And for that matter, why suspend him at all if the harassment hadn’t been established? It’s beginning to look like Broward’s school board wasn’t terribly interested in discipline for adults or students. Even apart from what happened that day, what kind of message did it send to the students Medina harassed to see him back on the job at their school after they informed the administration of his attempts to seduce them?
And why does Medina still have a job at all? His position as safety monitor surely included the proper procedure for dealing with threats on campus — confront the threat and set off an alarm to allow students and teachers to protect themselves. Medina did neither. After getting disciplined for sexual harassment, shouldn’t Medina have been fired for his failure, given that it directly resulted in loss of life? Instead, the Broward school district is essentially warehousing him at taxpayer expense. Lovely. And you thought Peter Strzok’s continued employment was inexplicable.
The people of Broward County need to clean house, top to bottom. They need to demand the resignations of Sheriff Scott Israel and superintendent Robert Runcie for gross incompetence, and even more for their attempts at public deflection away from their own failures. They also should demand to know just how much more of the story they haven’t yet heard.