Parkland Survivors & Families Are Suing School Security Officials With Varied Results

In December, Judge Beth Bloom struck down a lawsuit filed by Parkland survivors which claimed the school district and sheriff’s office failed at their responsibility to keep students safe after a school shooting claimed the lives of 17 students and faculty last Valentine’s Day. The judge’s reasoning behind the shocking dismissal was that the students were not technically in the school’s custody.

Students were particularly upset by the actions of armed security guard Scot Peterson, who remained outside the school while the shooting took place, and Andrew Medina, the campus monitor, who never confronted Cruz as he arrived on campus.

According to The Sun Sentinel, Bloom explained the logic of her Dec. 12 ruling by focusing on Cruz being “a third party, and not a state actor.” She wrote that “the critical question the Court analyzes is whether defendants had a constitutional duty to protect plaintiffs from the actions of Cruz.”

Patricia Padauy-Oliver whose son Joaquin was killed in the Parkland shooting expressed her anger over the issue on Twitter.

However, before you sink too deeply into a cynical funk over the state of the world, know the fight is far from over.

The survivors’ lawyer Kristoffer R. Budhram sent an emailed statement to The Sun Sentinel saying “We are exploring all of our options for ensuring that they get their day in court, including appealing Judge Bloom's decision."

As Bustle reports, this case represents just one of many lawsuits filed by members of the Parkland community after the Valentine’s Day shooting. As Lani Sleelinger writes in the conclusion of her piece on the dismissal, “This one court case may have been dismissed, but the matter of who's to be held responsible for so many lost lives is far from settled.”

Another lawsuit, a wrongful death suit on behalf of the family of slain student Meadow Pollack, is also moving forward. Pollack's family's attorneys are arguing that MSD security monitor Andrew Medina failed to stop the shooter by properly initiating a "code red," or lock down, in the school. Medina has reportedly said that he recognized the shooter and was at least somewhat aware of what he was capable of doing, referring to him as a "crazy boy."

“He has about two minutes to do the right thing, your honor, the reasonable thing under the circumstances, the simplest thing, get on the radio and call a code red,” David Brill, the Pollack's attorney, said.