Anthony Borges, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Schooler who was shot five times as he shielded his classmates with his body, thoroughly blasted Broward Sheriff Scott Israel and Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie for their failure to protect students and teachers.
Borges, who is currently recovering from his wounds, and his family held a press conference today to issue a sternly-worded statement addressing both the cowardly sheriff and the school authority.
“To Sheriff Israel of the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Robert Runcie, the Superintendent of schools in Broward, I want to thank you for visiting me at the hospital, but I want to say that both of you failed us, students, teachers and parents alike, on so many levels,” said Borges’ attorney Alex Arreaza, who relayed his written message to the press.
CBS Miami (via The Red Elephants) reports that Arreaza, conveying Anthony’s words, blamed the shooting on Sherriff Israel and Superintendent Runcie for failing to prevent Nikolas Cruz from carrying out his deadly act, which claimed the lives of 17 people, including one teacher.
Prior to the deadly mass shooting, Cruz was red flagged dozens of times by both the FBI and local authorities as a potential risk, but Broward County police refused to act on suggestions provided to them by counselors and police familiar with the shooter.
Reading Borges’ statement, Arreaza said that school officials allowed Cruz to continue attending classes even though they recognized how dangerous he was to other students.
“I want to ask you today to end your policy and agreement that you will not arrest people committing crimes in our school,” the attorney said, referencing the Obama-era school discipline policies enacted by the school.
In Broward County, these policies were part of the so-called “PROMISE Program,” an acronym for “Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, interventions, Support & Education Program.” The program calls on schools and police departments to discourage the arrest of students for minor offenses.
Although Cruz was not part of the PROMISE Program, the policies gave rise to a culture of leniency toward young criminals, including violent offenders.
Borges was shot five times while shielding his classmates from Cruz’s violent onslaught as he attempted to lock the door to his classroom. He underwent multiple life-saving surgeries and has since been released from hospital. He is credited with saving the lives of 20 of his classmates.
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