School assignment on Parkland shooter sparks major controversy

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Sunday, December 9, 2018
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Sandra Bookman has the details.

CORAL GLADES, Florida (WABC) -- Some parents and students at a Florida high school are outraged over an assignment that asked if the Parkland School Shooter should get the death penalty.

The assignment was titled "Does Nikolas Cruz Deserve to Die?" It was given to students at a school in Coral Glades - just miles away from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, where Cruz killed 17 students and staff earlier this year.

Stoneman Douglas parents like Cindy Levine are furious.

"These people lost their children for crying out loud, and my son could've been one of them, and a lot of our friends were killed, it's like sticking a knife in their stomach and turning it over and over," Levine says.

The outrage also spilled onto social media.

Stoneman Douglas survivor and student activist Cameron Kasky quoted the quiz, tweeting, "I cannot begin to express how pathetic I find this."

School board critic Andrew Pollack, who lost his daughter Meadow in the school shooting also commented, tweeting, "This is absolutely despicable," adding, "Does anyone at Broward schools have a brain?"

The school posted an apology on its website.

Teachers say the assignment came from an outside publisher. That publisher says it was meant to spark conversations about the history and social impact of the death penalty.