Parkland school principal under investigation
Broward County Public Schools will expand its investigation into the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, to include the principal Ty Thompson, the county school district spokeswoman told CNN.
Thompson was not at the school on February 14, 2018, when a gunman stormed the campus and killed 17 people.
While there have been no accusations made against Thompson, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission is investigating the staff in the wake of the shooting. This will include a review of the principal’s actions or lack of actions, said Kathy Koch, spokeswoman for the Broward County Schools. The investigation is expected to be done by the end of the school year, she added.
During the investigation, Thompson will remain at the school “to focus on recovery efforts and to provide oversight on the construction of the new replacement building,” according to a statement from Broward County Public Schools. While he will be able to participate in student activities and events, the school’s other principal, Teresa Hall will handle day-to-day operations and a former principal at the high school, Dan Traeger, will provide additional oversight, according to the school district.
CNN reached out to Thompson but received no response.
Teachers learned of the investigation into Thompson at a meeting Thursday and some were upset about the county’s approach, according to the two teachers who attended the meeting.
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and Valerie Wanza, the chief school performance and accountability officer, attended the meeting, they said.
“They weren’t really so clear on what he was being investigated for specifically,” one source said. “The faculty are definitely disappointed overall, but it wasn’t so shocking.”
History teacher Greg Pittman described the meeting as “ugly” and said several teachers walked out. He said the district didn’t completely remove Thompson because of the backlash it faced from faculty when the assistant principals were removed last year.
In November, three assistant principals and a security specialist at Stoneman Douglas were reassigned to other administrative locations in the district. The decision prompted protests from teachers, staff and students, who were not happy about who was being held accountable for the chain of events that led to the shooting.
On Thursday, teachers were confused over why Thompson was under investigation now, instead of at the same time as the assistant principals, Pittman said.