Parkland Families Get Payout From School District

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Parkland shooting marked a significant change in American gun politics. The shooting and the ensuing media blitz shifted the gun debate and put Second Amendment advocates on the defensive. Needless to say, it wasn’t a very fun time.

However, there was a lot going on during the Parkland shooting, including a school resource officer who refused to engage the shooter and the police who showed up and failed to follow their own procedures.

Unsurprisingly, there was a lawsuit. Also unsurprisingly, the school district opted to settle.

The families of those killed, wounded and scarred in the 2018 high school massacre in Parkland, Florida, have reached a $25 million settlement with the district.

More than 50 families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will split the money from Broward County Public Schools.

The families of the 17 slain will receive the largest shares. Sixteen of the 17 wounded and 19 people who suffered severe emotional distress will also receive payments.

The families’ attorney called the settlement “fair and remarkable.” The school district had no immediate comment.

The settlement comes after the district won a state Supreme Court ruling that could have capped its damages at $300,000 without approval from the state legislature.

The size of the settlement is surprising, especially after the court ruling that capped damages.

Frankly, there shouldn’t have been a cap.

See, for me, part of the problem with Parkland is that the law prevents law-abiding adults from being armed on school property in Florida. As a result, people are unable to protect themselves. If the law is going to disarm people, then the onus for protection should fall on the government.

It’s one thing to say the police have no duty to protect me in a time and place where I can protect myself, but when the law forcibly disarms me, I’m forced to take issue with that concept.

I kind of wonder if someone on the defendant’s side of the case felt similarly, that the onus was on the school to protect those children and they failed.

If so, it would explain such a large settlement when they’d already won a major concession with the damages cap. They didn’t have to settle for $25 million, but they did.

Then again, there may also be a political side to this. The attorneys won where they needed to win, but school boards are elected and no one liked the idea of injured students and the parents of murdered kids getting shafted, so the board urged the attorneys to negotiate a higher settlement so they could keep their offices.

I don’t really care, to be honest.

What I do care about, though, is the fact that so few people came out of that whole thing understanding that at least part of the problem was the average citizen will follow the laws and listen to those “gun-free zone” signs, but a maniac interested in mass murder just simply doesn’t care. They’ve never cared and they never will care. If anything, those just make a target more attractive since they don’t have to worry about armed opposition.

As we saw earlier this week, that changes things entirely.