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Letter to the Editor: School safety officer in Florida failed his duty

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

What is the job of the school safety officer?

According to all reports, the armed sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Parkland, Fla., high school failed to do his job and confront the teenage shooter. The school was the scene of a massacre.

Apparently, the deputy was the only other person with a gun on school grounds when the shooting commenced, since schools are gun-free zones. Four minutes passed before the police arrived. This man had a responsibility to confront the gunman or gunmen.

He didn’t go after the gunman though. The deputy took cover. He declined to confront the shooter. Instead, he called 911 and reported what was taking place inside the school.Sorry, but that’s not good enough. No way was his response adequate. When the shooting stopped, 17 students and teachers lay mortally wounded. Several were shot numerous times.

If the deputy had entered the building, might the carnage have been less?

Very probably many would have died anyway. Such was the shooter’s intentions. Shooters who carry out these sorts of mass shootings like to control the situation. Have you noticed that they seek out gun-free zones usually to carry out their dastardly plans?

Schools, movie theaters, a university, heck, even a church. These are the sorts of places these demented gunmen seek out. That way they are in total control. The killing ends when they say it ends and not before. Usually, they take their own lives rather than face the music. It’s diabolical, but it’s their way.

The deputy had a duty, a responsibility to go into the building as soon as he heard the first shot. He had a duty to confront the shooter and take him out or die trying to take him out.Being charged as the school’s safety officer is not some lofty title. It’s a duty.

Certainly, he was afraid. Anyone in that situation is afraid. What if there are two or more gunmen, as was the case at Columbine High School in Colorado? What if an ambush is set for first responders?

You don’t know. Still, you must act. Failure to act is cowardice, plain and simple

ROBERT PEELE

Rocky Mount

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