Amid widespread criticism of police departments after the police killing of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade has been repeatedly citing the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as an example of why keeping cops in schools is so important. Kilmeade appears to have forgotten the shocking police failures at Parkland that arguably contributed to the death toll.
When the massacre began at the school’s 1200 Building on February 14, Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, who was the armed school-resource officer at Stoneman Douglas, hid outside instead of intervening to stop the shooting. More deputies arrived a few minutes later, but they also failed to confront the killer even though they got there in time to hear his gunfire. It wasn’t until yet another police department responded that anyone entered the building to confront the gunman. A total of 17 people, mostly children, were murdered. Peterson was later fired and charged with multiple felonies, including child neglect. A supervisor in the sheriff’s department was also fired, but with support from his police union, he was recently rehired with full seniority and back pay.
There is evidence that the presence of police in schools is associated with a “higher rate of suspensions, expulsions and arrests that funnel kids into the criminal justice system,” especially in schools where a majority of students are of color -- a concept known as the school-to-prison pipeline. Studies have also shown that having police in schools can negatively impact students’ education.
In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, Kilmeade criticized the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Peterson for their failure to act as well as their failure of leadership, and he also spoke in support of having armed personnel in schools.
However, Kilmeade has recently made multiple references to the Parkland shooting without any mention of the police’s numerous failures. He mentioned the Parkland shooting twice on June 13 as a reminder of why he believes cops should be in schools, and he made a similar argument on June 24, referencing the shooting and resulting March for Our Lives protest and movement.