A state commission found that a controversial school discipline program is not to blame for a deadly mass shooting carried out by a former student earlier this year in Parkland, Fla.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission said the student, Nikolas Cruz, had been recommended to attend the three-day disciplinary program, PROMISE, after damaging a school bathroom faucet, but that there is no record of his attending the program in 2013, nor are there consequences for students who don’t attend, according to Sun Sentinel. While some argued that Cruz would not have been able to purchase the AR-15 he used in the shooting if he had had an arrest on his record, the commission said that since Cruz was a juvenile first-time offender, such an incident would not have had an impact on his ability to purchase the weapon.
PROMISE was created in 2013 to refer students who had committed nonviolent crimes to an alternative disciplinary program instead of having them arrested. The commission investigating the program is made up of law enforcement officers, public officials, and family members of the shooting victims.
While the commission did not hold PROMISE responsible for Cruz’s ability to purchase a weapon, it said the program does have flaws. The commission voted to include several recommendations for the program and other similar programs around the state in a report, due at the end of the year.
The Parkland shooting in February ended with 17 deaths and 17 injuries, stirring massive controversy over gun control and how to better ensure school safety, and causing some to accuse PROMISE of being partially responsible for the shooting.