5 Reasons Why Parkland Florida School Officials and Nikolas Cruz’s Family Are Liable

TASA ID: 2774

The Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by Nikolas Cruz was initially blamed on the poor response from the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and school security.However, an investigation by the SERAPH School Safety team has found a much darker series of failures by adults in Cruz’s personal life and school life.


Question 1:

When did his adoptive parents know he had violence issues?


Cruz displayed signs he was deeply troubled even as a toddler. He threw a four-month-old into a pool. The child was crawling on a back porch and Cruz who was two years old picked him up and threw him in.

Question 2:

How many times did the police come to Cruz’s home?


45 calls for service relating to Cruz or his brother from 2008 to 2017 not the 23 calls claimed. 19 of the calls where when Cruz was a child starting at 9. He committed serious assault and violence against his mother and animals. No arrests.

Question 3:

Did mental health professionals break the law and fail to report his behavior as a danger to himself and others?


He jumped out of the back of a bus, a school district report stated. He was “punched numerous times” for using racial slurs toward a peer. He had “hate signs” — including a Nazi symbol and the words “I hate N——” — drawn on his book bag. “I looked close and I saw he was holding a dead bird near his genitalia,” Hemans [a student at the school] said. “I saw some feathers and I knew it was a bird. That was disturbing. But I just looked away because it wasn’t my business.” A tipster to the FBI later reported that one time Cruz took a dead bird into the kitchen of his home and cut it open, saying he wanted to see inside. An unidentified peer counselor alerted Marjory Stoneman Douglas High that Cruz drank gasoline “in an attempt to commit suicide,” was “cutting himself” and “wished to purchase a gun.”

An investigator with Florida’s Department of Children and Families spoke to Cruz, but his therapist ultimately advised that he was “not currently a threat to himself or others” and did not need to be committed.

Question 4:

Did school officials provide the care required by Florida law and Federal USDOE law under IDEA?


In general, school districts are required to provide kids with physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities a free education in the “least restrictive” setting, and to accommodate the needs of such students.
Under the federal law IDEA [Individuals with Disabilities Education Act] Cruz was supposed to be disciplined and monitored using very specific protocols see https://sites.ed.gov. 

‘The 19-year-old Cruz was transferred six times in three years, the Miami Herald reported, but never expelled, taken into custody or arrested. He opened fire Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 14 students and three teachers.’

Evidence is clear that Cruz was aware of his abilities and did not want to be placed in an alternative school which the district did before the shooting. Where is the IEP [individualized education plan for Cruz related to his issues]? What was the official plan for Cruz related to decades of violence known by his family and school officials?

Question 5:

Did the school district and the sheriff’s department collude under a federal program to prevent Cruz from being arrested for assaults and other crimes?


The school and the sheriff’s department were part of an ill-conceived federal program called PROMISE. The Promise Program [a Department of Justice federal grant program under the Obama administration] provided funding to local police departments and school districts for ignoring certain crimes committed by minority students. 

‘The facts pattern that has emerged strongly suggests it [the Promise Program] played a role,’ according to the Manhattan Institute.  The program allowed Cruz to stay out of the system which then allowed him to purchase firearms.


In our opinion, Cruz’s adoptive mother and father failed to deal with their son’s violence from a young age and in fact made excuses for his behavior through a codependent atmosphere in the home.
Law enforcement was at fault for allowing a federal program to supersede their authority to arrest Cruz for his violent crimes.

School officials failed state and federal standards for the management of a special needs student and allowed a federal philosophy into their schools that allowed a violent predator to murder and maim students and staff on February 14th.

TASA Article Disclaimer

This article discusses issues of general interest and does not give any specific legal or business advice pertaining to any specific circumstances.  Before acting upon any of its information, you should obtain appropriate advice from a lawyer or other qualified professional.

This article may not be duplicated, altered, distributed, saved, incorporated into another document or website, or otherwise modified without the permission of TASA and the author (TASA ID: 2774) . Contact marketing@tasanet.com for any questions.

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