Death-Penalty Opponents Want Abolition Bills Passed Before Ohio Session Ends

Death-penalty abolitionists in Ohio this week are organizing a campaign to persuade lawmakers to end capital punishment in their State. 

The nonprofit No Death Penalty Ohio is hosting letter-writing parties in various cities throughout the week in support of a state House bill and an identical state Senate bill to ban executions. While Republicans often support capital punishment and control both legislative chambers, the bills have some GOP support. State Senator Stephen Huffman (R-Dayton) is cosponsoring the Senate measure alongside Senator Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) while Representative Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) is spearheading the House legislation with Representative Adam Miller (D-Columbus). 

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Armed Combat Veterans to Patrol Florida School After Mass Shootings in the State

by Grace Carr   Another Florida school is actively taking precautions against shooters by hiring armed combat veterans to patrol its campus, a year after the tragic Parkland shooting. The Manatee School for the Arts, a charter school, will employ two combat veterans to protect the school and prevent any persons attempting to shoot up the school, according to HuffPost. The guards will both carry a handgun and military-style long gun, WWSB TV reported. “If someone walks onto this campus, they’re going to be shot and killed,” said school principal Bill Jones, according to the Bradenton Herald. “We’re not going to talk with them. We’re not going to negotiate. We are going to put them down, as quickly as possible.” One guard with 15 years of infantry experience has patrolled the campus for a number of months, HuffPost reported. A second guard will patrol the campus starting at the end of February. The hires coincide with the one year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland. Former student Nikolas Cruz entered the high school on Feb. 14, 2018, and methodically walked through the school and opened fire on students in hallways and hiding in classrooms. Cruz…

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As Exhaustive Parkland Report is Released, Father of Victim Seeks Accountability

Andrew Pollack, the father of a teenage girl who was killed in a school shooting in Florida last year, was appointed to the state Education Board by outgoing Gov. Rick Scott. Scott appointed Pollack to the board Friday. Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of 17 people killed at a Parkland, Florida, high school, Feb. 14, 2018, still needs to be confirmed to the seat by the state Senate. Pollack, 52, who became a school safety activist after the shooting, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “What I hope to accomplish is accountability at a local level, to hold school boards accountable and superintendents accountable.” The governor, who will be stepping down from his post next week, was elected in November to the U.S. Senate. He had said during the campaign he would serve out his term as governor, which ends Jan. 9. Nikolas Cruz, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has been charged with killing 17 people. Police say he used a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. The mass shooting caused a larger debate nationwide regarding gun control measures, and also led to a local investigation. Safety commission report Pollack’s appointment to the Education Board came days after a report…

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Florida Sentinel Publishes Exhaustive Parkland Report: Sheriffs ‘Cost Children Their Lives’

by Neetu Chandak   A report released Friday showed authorities and school officials either failed to act or were unclear about procedures when confronting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter on Feb. 14. The South Florida Sun Sentinel released a minute-by-minute rundown of the Parkland shooting in, “Unprepared and Overwhelmed.” The Sentinel acknowledged many teachers and police officers were “heroic,” but Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) were unprepared. The shooting left 17 people dead. “A gunman with an AR-15 fired the bullets, but a series of blunder, bad policies, sketchy training and poor leadership helped him succeed,” the Sentinel wrote. There were three separate instances of school monitors failing to lockdown the school and calling for a “Code Red,” an indicator for people to hide in classrooms. Suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz was spotted on campus at 2:19 p.m., but a Code Red was not called until 2:24 p.m. Andrew Medina first saw Cruz walk through unguarded gates. Medina had previously predicted Cruz would shoot up the school, the Sentinel reported. David Taylor was another school monitor who followed Cruz on the first floor before turning around at 2:21 p.m. Taylor told investigators he wanted to confront…

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Broward County School Pulls Assignment Asking if Parkland Shooter Deserves to Die

by Neetu Chandak   A Broward County high school pulled an assignment that asked students whether the suspected Parkland shooter deserves to die. The assignment, “Does Nikolas Cruz Deserve to Die?,” was given to freshmen at Coral Glades High School, ABC News reported Sunday. The school is about five miles away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where Cruz allegedly killed 17 students on Feb. 14. The worksheets included questions involving the shooting and the death penalty. It was offered as part of a subscription service from Scholastic Corporation, according to ABC. One multiple choice question referenced March for Our Lives co-founder Cameron Kasky, who The New York Times’ quoted in an October Upfront magazine article about death penalty, ABC reported. “In the article, Cameron Kasky says, ‘Let him rot forever.’ His tone can best be described as ___,” the question reads. Answers include “angry,” “fearful,” “gloomy” and “truthful.” https://twitter.com/cameron_kasky/status/1071151056309100546 Upfront is a current events magazine that provides high school students ‘balanced, age-appropriate information that can be used as teaching resources in the classroom,” Scholastic Inc. Vice President of corporate communications Anne Sparkman told The Daily Caller News Foundation over email. “The article and the quiz were intended only to…

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