Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Teachers should be armed, schools should have better security and law enforcement needs more training to prevent massacres like the on that occurred in Parkland, Fla., this year, a special panel said in a report.
The Florida commission investigating the shooting said in a draft report it found too many doors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School unlocked, police officers didn't respond adequately to stop the attacker and the "Code Red" alarm wasn't sounded quickly enough.
The Feb. 14 shooting killed 17 and rekindled national debate on arming teachers, and other preventative measures. The panel recommended in its report that teachers be allowed to carry guns if they go through a background check and receive proper training. That would require approval by the Florida legislature.
The 407-page report does not call for new gun control laws or metal detectors or bulletproof glass. The primary blame goes to former school resource officer Scot Peterson, who the panel called "derelict in his duty" because he went outside when the shooting began.
The delay in activating a Code Red warning, combined with officers not responding fast enough, cost lives, the panel found.
The report also calls for the Broward Sheriff's Office to conduct an internal review of the performance of six deputies who heard gun shots but failed to engage the shooter. They spent time retrieving ballistic vests before confronting the gunman. The conduct, it adds, was "unacceptable and contrary to accepted protocol under which the deputies should have immediately moved toward the gunshots to confront the shooter."
"In the ideal world, we wouldn't need anyone on campus with a gun, but that's not the world we live in today," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a member of the panel, said. "One's not enough. Two's not enough. We need multiple people in order to protect the children."
The report said security failures allowed shooter Nikolas Cruz to walk into the school with an AR-15 in a rifle bag and start shooting. He is awaiting trial on murder charges and faces the death penalty.
The report also details the confusion among responding deputies when they reached the scene. One SWAT deputy said his radio didn't work and another tried to chase the shooter into a neighborhood but was trapped by responding police vehicles. One officer described the scene on the third floor of the school as "basically like a[n] Apocalypse Now."
Not everyone agrees with the panel's recommendation to arm teachers.
"Teachers want to teach, not be armed for combat in their classrooms," Florida Rep. Ted Deutch said. "Law enforcement cannot push their responsibilities to make our communities safer on to civilians that should be focused on educating their students."
Commission member Max Schachter, whose son died in the shooting, cast the lone "no" vote for arming teachers. He said he's talked to many teachers who oppose it.