Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Teachers and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School staged protests Tuesday after four staff members were reassigned in relation to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the Parkland, Fla., school.
About 60 teachers stood outside the school campus at 7:15 a.m. -- before the start of classes -- and almost 300 students walked out of the school to a nearby park, with some chanting "We want them back!" the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
"The school is hurting and we need to get back to the healing part," the school's broadcasting teacher, Eric Garner, told the paper. "This is kind of a step backwards."
Tuesday's protests came after Broward County Public Schools announced Monday that Assistant Principals Jeff Morford, Winfred Porter Jr. and Denise Reed, and security specialist Kelvin Greenleaf were being reassigned to other district "administrative locations" after a security review revealed communication failures and untimely responses during the school shooting in which former student Nikolas Cruz is accused of killing 17 people and injuring 17 others.
Stoneman Douglas teachers issued a statement Monday following the school district's announcement asking for support from the community and calling for Superintendent Robert Runcie to reconsider his decision to reassign the staff.
"Though we recognize that this is typical procedure, there is nothing typical about what occurred at our school," the statement read. "Removing an integral part of our administrative staff disrupts not only daily operations but the well-being of students and staff. This action does more to hurt the healing and continued education of our students."
Lisa Maxwell, executive director of the Broward Principals and Assistants Association, told USA Today the group was filing suit to prevent the administrators from being reassigned.
"These are people who risked their own lives to save kids," Maxwell said. "This is an unconscionable decision."
Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco defended the teachers for their protest, saying the reassignments were a political decision.
"They are showing that they believe in their school," Fusco said of the teachers. "A person bought a gun and shot up a school. All of our hearts go out to every family who had someone taken. At the end of the day, the person who should be held accountable for killing 17 people is Nikolas Cruz."
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow Pollack was killed in the shooting, said the teachers were a "a disgrace to be out there protesting" and called for the reassigned administrators to be further held responsible for their alleged roles in failing to prevent the shooting.
"Eventually they'll be fired for what they didn't do that allowed these 17 people to get murdered, and one of them's my daughter," Pollack said. "There needs to be accountability when you don't do your job and people get murdered."