FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – More than 50 teachers chanted Tuesday morning "in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School" in front of Marjory Stoneman High School, demanding the return of four reallocated directors following a state commission investigation into the shooting who killed 17 people on Valentine's Day.
The suspect, former student Nikolas Cruz, 20, is scheduled to appear Tuesday in a hearing room in Fort Lauderdale for questions relating to procedural motions. Cruz faces the death penalty if he is convicted of the massacre. Cruz's lawyers said he would plead guilty to murder and attempted murder in exchange for a life sentence, but prosecutors dismissed him.
Broward County Public Schools announced Monday that the three assistant principals and one security specialist were being assigned to other administrative duties. The statement does not say why they were reassigned.
This decision followed the last meeting of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission. The school district said it was using board materials to improve school safety and student services.
The head of an association representing three of the four administrators said they would sue the district to stop reassignments.
Lisa Maxwell, Executive Director of the Broward Principals and Assistants Association, said the directors did not know the reason for their reassignment, which is a violation of their due process rights.
"It is a political ploy.It is the worst political scapegoats.They have not been informed of any reprehensible acts.They have not been informed of any wrongdoing. no charges, "said Maxwell.
Maxwell said the directors were targeted because they were "the most engaged that day with the event".
"They are easy to target and yet, since the tragedy and during the tragedy, they risk their lives to save children," Maxwell said. "It's absolutely devastating for them and their families, and now they're being victimized again."
The three assistant directors were Jeff Morford, Winfred Porter Jr. and Denise Reed. The security specialist was Kelvin Greenleaf.
Two students told investigators of the commission that they had reported Cruz to an administrator for uttering threats, but felt that they were not taken seriously. The students were not in agreement about whether they had talked to Morford or Ty Thompson principal.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jamie, was killed in the massacre, told the Sun Sentinel in South Florida that the reallocations were "seven months late."
"We have been communicating all this for almost nine months, as soon as we have learned everything," said Guttenberg. "Only after being able to miss the video they acted."
Several students of Marjory Douglas Stoneman said that a walkout held to protest reassignments was scheduled for Tuesday, but it was not clear if this would happen.
The sophomore Samantha Deitsch said she was torn apart.
"If the school board felt that these people were to blame, they would have immediately fired them because you do not take lightly the killing of 17 people," said Deitsch.
No trial date has been set for Cruz. He is also accused of assaulting a correctional officer in the prison where he is held without bail.