School District Demands Parkland Parents Turn Over Psychiatric Records in Mass Shooting


Parents of the victims in the 2018 mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, are being asked to prove they’ve suffered mental anguish.

The parents are suing the Broward School Board, the sheriff and other parties for the deaths of their children.

In turn, the Broward school district is demanding that parents of the victims turn over psychiatric records proving they suffered mental anguish over the tragic shooting deaths of their children.

Seventeen people — 14 students and three staff members — were killed and 17 were wounded in the massacre. Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the high school, has confessed to the killings.

Lori Alhadeff, a member of the school board whose daughter died in the attack, called the district’s demand a “harassing” and “burdensome” invasion of privacy, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

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At least a dozen additional families have joined Alhadeff in objecting to the demand. Alhadeff’s attorney, Robert Kelley, pointed out how such a request was unprecedented.

Plaintiffs generally prove their pain and suffering with testimony and rarely are required to submit mental health records to prove their heartbreak, Kelley told the Sun Sentinel.

“I personally don’t think the records are relevant,” he said. “I don’t think anyone is going to dispute that these families have suffered mental anguish.”

The school district responded on Oct. 1, saying that while it “recognizes the sensitive nature of these records,” it insists on proof of mental pain and suffering.

Did police and school officials fail to act during the Parkland shooting?

The district has made about 75 demands, including asking victims’ families to show evidence of funeral expenses, accounts of each and every media interview they have done, and their tax returns to prove lost incomes since the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting.

Reporting from the Sun Sentinel suggests the school and law enforcement was unprepared to deal with a mass shooting of this nature.

Multiple unarmed teachers who were trusted with security at the school failed to call a “Code Red” alert to lock it down, the 911 call took a long time to transfer to the local sheriff’s office, the school’s armed resource officer waited outside while the assailant was killing students, and one of the first Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies to arrive on the scene decided to block traffic rather than head into the school.

These are among the many perceived failures of the parties being sued by the parents of the victims, according to the Sun Sentinel.

In a May 2020 interview with The Western Journal, Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter, Meadow, was killed in the massacre, spoke out against the reinstatement of Brian Miller, a Broward sheriff’s sergeant who was fired for “neglect of duty” after hiding behind his car during the shooting.

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“When you see the video, see how this guy just twiddled his thumbs while shots were ringing out in the school, watch him stand there while kids are getting murdered — it should fill anyone with disgust and disbelief,” Pollack told The Western Journal in an email.

“But while it’s certainly disgusting to hear that Broward is giving him his job back, I can’t say that I’m feeling any disbelief. This is just how liberals are. How they govern themselves. It’s all totally consistent. They want to put dangerous criminals on the street to protect their ‘rights’ — d— the consequences to the innocent. They want to put idiot loser cops who let kids die back on the beat to protect their ‘rights’ — d— the consequences to the innocent.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if this fat slob’s lazy negligence gets more people killed,” Pollack added, referring to Miller. “But if it does, I fully expect him to keep his job. Because it’s Broward — a liberal cesspool.”

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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