2 Former Stoneman Douglas Administrators Cleared in Shooting

The former principal and assistant principal were reassigned to administrative positions at different Broward schools following the shooting.

2 Former Stoneman Douglas Administrators Cleared in Shooting

PARKLAND, Fla. — Two former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School administrators have been cleared of wrongdoing in relation to the Feb. 2018 shooting that claimed 17 lives.

Letters sent to former Principal Ty Thompson and former Assistant Principal Denise Reed last Thursday by the Broward School District said an independent investigation found “insufficient factual or legal basis” to discipline them, reports The Sun-Sentinel. Both were reassigned to different administrative roles within the district following the shooting.

Former Assistant Principal Jeff Morford, who retired from the district last year, also received a letter from the district reprimanding him for mishandling a 2016 threat assessment of the former student gunman. He was cleared of several training and security-related violations.

Similarly, in Nov. 2019, former assistant principal Winfred Porter was also cleared of wrongdoing after a committee of district administrators reversed a lawyer’s finding that he failed to ensure staff knew when and how to lock down the school. Kelvin Greenleaf, another former assistant principal who was reassigned during an investigation, has since retired.

In a 407-page report, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which was created to investigate the shooting and make safety recommendations, called on the district to investigate the administrators. Last fall, Chairman Bob Gualtieri said it might be difficult to hold employees accountable because the school district’s policies, procedures and training were weak.

Thompson, who was not on campus at the time of the shooting, was accused of failing to ensure the campus was secure, staff members were trained and threat assessments were conducted properly. The district had to determine if Thompson violated district policy by not ensuring that he knew about all potential threats on campus.

“It’s not part of the protocol to bring [threats] to me,” Thompson said in an interview with the commission. “Very rarely does that come up.”

Reed was accused of failing to ensure employees had the proper training and equipment. She was also accused of failing to call a “Code Red,” which would have put the school into lockdown.

According to Craig Kowalski, chief of the district’s Special Investigative Unit, the investigations of Thompson, Reed and Morford won’t be made public until 10 days after the employees received their letters.

About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy’s mother, brother, sister-in-law and a handful of cousins are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, her son and her dog.

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