Second principal and possible security upgrades in the works for Stoneman Douglas High

Stoneman Douglas High.JPG
Second principal and possible security upgrades in the works for Stoneman Douglas High (WPEC file photo){ }

Two important decisions have just been made about the future of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

But as word is getting out about them, some parents are reacting with disappointment and sharp criticism for Broward School Board.

Both decisions involve bringing outsiders into the Stoneman Douglas community and some parents say it’s too many cooks in the kitchen.

Principal Ty Thompson is about to get a duplicate.

It won't be an assistant principal or a vice principal, though; the school board wants Stoneman Douglas to have two main principals, or “co-principals,” to deal with the aftermath of the shooting that claimed the lives of 17 people.

The concerns of parents and the high stakes are too much for one person, board members say.

So on Tuesday, the board voted to approve the hiring of Teresa Hall, the principal from West Broward High.

“I don’t know where this is coming from, it’s not a good idea," Lisa Glassman said. "We need one leader, not more confusion, ‘that’s not my job, that’s that person’s job,’ we need one leader at that school."

Glassman’s son, Gabe, is going to be a junior at Stoneman Douglas in the fall.

He hid with 60 classmates in his drama teacher’s office on the day of the shooting.

Glassman says she has more confidence in the Parkland Safety Commission to come up with ideas than she does in the school board. She especially likes what she’s hearing from Commissioner Max Schachter, whose son was killed.

As for the current board members, Glassman said she'd “give them an F.”

The school board also just reached a unanimous decision: voting to greenlight a deal with Safe Havens International, a consulting firm that will look at Stoneman Douglas and make recommendations for security upgrades. That will cost the board about $900,000 dollars.

Glassman says the board doesn’t need consultants; she says the kids and the parents know what doors and what gates are unlocked and unattended. She believes the board can save the $900,000 by just locking and securing them.

But Superintendent Dr. Robert Runcie is defending the board's vote.

In a media statement, Runcie says, in part:

This work is critical as we move forward to enhance safety and security in our schools across the district.

In the months ahead, the school board will look at the possibility of creating its own police force like in Palm Beach County, since that’s what the Broward Sheriff's Office wants the board to do.