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Parkland Monitors Who Didn't Call for 'Code Red' Reassigned

The coaches are facing withering criticism of their actions on the day of the shooting
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2018 7:12 PM CDT
In a March 23, 2018, photo, Lori Alhadeff, center, is comforted by her husband Ilan Alhadeff, as she holds a photograph of their daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, at a news conference on gun violence in...   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(Newser) – Two coaches who served as unarmed security monitors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Fla., have been reassigned after controversial reports of their behavior on the day of the shooting, reports USA Today. Baseball coach Andrew Medina told investigators that before the Feb. 14 shooting that took 17 lives, he noticed the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, wearing a backpack and carrying a duffel bag while looking like he was "on a mission," and recognized him as someone staffers had discussed: "If there’s gonna be anybody who’s gonna come to this school and shoot this school up, it’s gonna be that kid," they had said during a meeting about him, Medina recalled, though he later disputed telling investigators that. When Medina approached him, Cruz ran away; soon after, Medina heard gunshots, but didn’t immediately send out an emergency warning of an active shooter.

Medina had radioed ahead to fellow coach and monitor David Taylor and warned him that a “suspicious kid” was coming, the Sun Sentinel reports. When Taylor heard shots, he took cover in a janitor’s closet. At least two parents have talked to school officials about how the crisis was handled. "All [Medina] had to do was say 'Code Red,'” says Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed in the shooting. “He was trained to say those words and he didn't do it." Fred Guttenberg, the father of another shooting victim, tweeted that he went with Pollack to the school "to lay out our concerns and to ask for [Medina's] removal. Glad that we got this done,” per Fox. Medina said later that he was reluctant to call for a Code Red because he didn’t see the gun. Both he and Taylor have been barred from the grounds of the school. (Former school resource officer Scot Peterson has also been harshly criticized for his handling of the shooting.)

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