Failures at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Before the Shooting

The school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018 resulted in the death of 17 students and faculty. A nation exhausted by these public mass murders was again asking why, as they tried to contemplate the horror of yet another attack on defenseless children.  What was also remarkable about this event is the number of failures from the Broward County School District, law enforcement and other authorities before and during this incident that could have either prevented it from happening or shortened its duration.

The murderer, whose name will not be mentioned here, had a long, troubled history of adjusting to life. 911 calls from his family members, violent, erratic behavior, and trouble at school were an almost constant occurrence. Deputies had been called to his house a total of 39 times over seven years. He received a total of 26 disciplinary reports while attending Westglades Middle School and was suspended once for fighting. In 2013, when he was around 15 years old, his mother called police because he threw her against a wall for taking his X-Box away. She told the police that he had anger issues. In Early 2014, he was transferred out of his middle school to a special school that offered on-site psychiatric services and other emotional support.

Later, in 2016, the killer posted on Instagram that he had a plan to shoot up Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he was then a student. The killer would repeat this threat in 2017, when a man from Mississippi informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the soon-to-be killer stated on YouTube that he was, “...going to be a professional school shooter.” No significant law enforcement intervention came from either report.

Many students at the high school expressed their fear of and concerns about the shooter to school officials. One student overheard him say he wanted to commit a mass shooting at the school approximately one year before he actually did. She reported it to police. The police informed the school staff, and the killer was expelled from school. Additionally, a year before the shooting, the security team at the high school discussed among themselves that they suspected he would be the kid most likely to shoot up the school.

This young man was a ticking time bomb. Authorities were warned three times that this troubled, aggressive young man wanted to commit a mass shooting in his high school. Security staff at the school suspected that he was capable of doing it. Clearly, both law enforcement and school faculty had numerous opportunities to intervene and prevent the tragedy. They didn’t.

During the shooting

On February 14, 2018, the shooter executed his violent plan. Before he even entered the school, a campus security member saw “that crazy boy” walk through a gate toward the school with a rifle bag. The security member did not stop him. He did, however, contact another security member, who would try but fail to intercept the killer inside the building. Neither security guard instituted the Code Red lockdown procedures the school had developed to deal with such incidents.

A short time later, a freshman at the school saw the killer loading the gun in a stairwell. The shooter warned the freshman that he should leave. The freshman ran to tell a coach/security monitor what he had seen. That coach, also a member of the security team, was equipped with a radio, but did not institute the school’s Code Red procedures for lockdown.

After the killer started his rampage, chaos erupted. The armed campus security officer, Deputy Scott Peterson, drew his gun but did not enter the building. He would eventually hide while students were being murdered. Soon, three other Broward County Deputies would arrive on scene and hide behind their cars rather than charge to the sound of the killer’s gunshots to end the threat.

After it was all over, 17 students and faculty were found murdered. The perpetrator was completely unchallenged by armed Deputies on campus and escaped.

This is why we at Bullets Both Ways and Project Angel Shield do what we do. We cannot stand by while our children, our very future, are failed by those who are entrusted to protect them. We are determined to execute on our mission to expand protection in our nation’s schools and houses of worship, to promote preparedness, and to provide support to individuals, families, groups and anyone who is a victim of violence. We appreciate your support.

By Drew Beatty

Arming School Staff

Data shows schools that allow trained staff to carry guns are much safer than those that don’t.

The national debate on whether or not to arm teachers is constantly gaining attention and has divided many. With the disturbing rise in school shootings, our country seems split between calling for gun bans, and in contrast, advocating for increased gun use.

While heightened attention to this divisive concept has occurred recently, arming teachers is not a new approach. There are currently 20 states and hundreds of school districts across the U.S. that have been granting teachers and other school staff permission to carry guns while on school property.

Taking personal feelings and politics out of the equation, the data and research can and should stand for itself.

The president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, John Lott, uncovered that there has not been a single instance where someone was wounded or killed from shootings at schools that allow teachers to carry guns. Research has shown that there has yet to be a mass public shooting during the times of 6 AM and midnight at institutes where teachers are legally armed.

Lott's extensive research shows that the average death or injury rate due to shootings across all schools (including those with armed teachers) is 0.039 per 100,000 students. When it comes to just schools with armed teachers, the rate is an astonishing 0 per 100,000.

There have not been any significant problems at schools that allow for armed teachers, but for other schools where guns are banned, gun violence has continued to wreak havoc.

Many parents and critics have voiced concerns that students could come in contact with teachers' firearms and use them for violence. However, there has not been an instance so far where a student obtained a teacher's gun. If anything, the words "gun-free zone" should make people nervous since it has been shown that this term is much more likely to attract criminals rather than deter them.

The FBI recorded the reason that an Islamic State sympathizer chose a large church in Detroit to enact a mass shooting: "It's easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church."

It takes time for police officers to respond and arrive at school locations. A few moments is all it takes for shooters to claim numerous innocent lives. With teachers and other staff being armed, stopping shootings could be an instantaneous occurrence.

Europe has seen three of the five worst K-12 school shooting tragedies. All of these have occurred in gun-free zones. This is also true of every school in the United States where a mass shooting has happened. The evidence between allowing school staff to carry guns versus those who do not is staggering.

The allowing of weapons in schools is not taken lightly. Often, teachers are required to pass extensive background checks, drug tests, firearm training, and other requirements before they are allowed to carry on school property.

Bullets Both Ways is determined to increase the protection of American schools. Providing proper gun knowledge and training to teachers and other staff is a reality through them. Bullets Both Ways recognizes the indisputable fact that schools that have armed teachers are safer. Our nation's schools are made safer by the ability to have bullets going both ways rather than just coming one direction from an unchallenged perpetrator.

By Amalia White

School Safety in Douglas County

Douglas County is located south of the capital city of Denver, Colorado. This scenic county combines vast open spaces with small, densely populated towns. The county seat is in Castle Rock. Other cities and towns include Lone Tree, Parker, Larkspur, Sedalia and parts of Littleton and Aurora.

With an estimated population of about 358,000 people, Douglas County is home to the third largest school district in Colorado, the Douglas County School District RE-1 (DCSD). Composed of 48 elementary schools, 9 middle schools, 9 high schools, 5 alternative schools and 20 charter schools, the 91 schools in the district serve 68,000 students.

The current seven-member Board of Education took office after the November 2017 election. They are:

President – David Ray, District F                      

Vice-President – Wendy Vogel, District A        

Treasurer – Anne-Marie Lemieux, District C   

Secretary – Krista Holtzmann, District G          

Anthony Graziano, District B                            

Christina Ciancio-Schor, District D                   

Kevin Leung, District E                                                  

The superintendent is Dr. Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D. He was previously the superintendent of the Princeton City Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Phone: 303-387-0123)

The Douglas County Sheriff is Tony Spurlock. He has overall responsibility for law enforcement in the county, supplemented by local police forces in the cities and towns. Unfortunately, he also strongly supported the 2019 “red flag” bill, HB 19-1177, which passed the legislature on a strictly partisan basis this year. This unconstitutional bill is problematic for several reasons, not least of which are the lack of due process and the standards of evidence that are prescribed.

Douglas County was the scene of the recent STEM school shooting, wherein two shooters opened fire on students, killing one and wounding eight. The one fatality – Kendrick Castillo – heroically rushed one of the shooters, enabling other students to escape.

Due to a dispute with the Sheriff’s Office, the STEM school did not have an armed school resource officer (SRO) on duty, instead having a private security guard who was armed even though he was not supposed to be. Despite this, the school was still targeted and nine students were shot.

Prior to August 23rd, the perception in the community was that the DCSD school board was not friendly to the concept of armed school staff. That perception was clarified on Tuesday, August 20 when Superintendent Tucker told the interim legislative committee on school safety that his district will not allow teachers to be armed, and if charter schools allow for armed staff they will be asked to leave the district.

This declaration was followed up four days later with an email from Board Treasurer Anne-Marie Lemieux to Dr. Tucker where she stated her unequivocal opposition to armed staff as follows:

“I am firm (no friendly about it) in my absolute disapproval of arming staff. District policy states only those with “armed” in their job description are allowed to carry firearms — that includes trained security.

I expect compliance — period. Please research immediately if they received a waiver of this policy and if they did — do we have any recourse. (sic)”

In a subsequent posting on Facebook, Superintendent Tucker and Board President David Ray said that “Douglas County School District absolutely supports the best practice of having dedicated, armed security in place at school”, but the armed security must meet the following criteria:

  • They have to be Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified. (Note, FASTER Colorado requires a POST + 2 certification)
  • Be uniformed and carrying a firearm openly
  • No concealed carry allowed

Further, the memo states “Douglas County School District does not support the arming of any staff member who is not a dedicated security officer. In addition, we do not support the concealment of arms by our dedicated security personnel.”

Ostensibly, this is supposed to “ensure that law enforcement knows who is armed – and who is not – in the case of an emergency...”, however it explicitly disallows armed staff on campus, despite clear evidence that armed staff prevents school shootings.

There are a few problems with this. First, not every school in the district has an assigned SRO. Some schools are “covered” by the “School Marshal Program” (SMP), which means that periodically through the day, a law enforcement officer will visit the school, but is not on continuous duty at that school.  Second, by clearly stating in their Facebook post which schools have coverage and which do not, they are painting a target on the schools that do not have full time SRO coverage. Third, SRO’s, while they are an integral part of a comprehensive security plan, have been known to fail to protect students. The most notable example of this is former sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson, the SRO at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

Finally, this policy paints a target on the uniformed, openly armed personnel. Any potential school shooters would merely need to wait for the SRO to leave or be in another area of campus or shoot them first. By openly stating what the protective measures are (and are not), Tucker and Ray are giving any potential bad guys the operational intelligence they need to defeat those measures. I guess they’re OK with unarmed teenage defenders like Kendrick Castillo throwing their bodies between school shooters and their fellow students.

What Can Parents Do?

Every parent should have the expectation that their kids will come home safely after every day at school. According to Laura Carno, Executive Director of FASTER Colorado, “I have heard from parents who don’t like guns themselves who still want their children protected by someone who’s armed. All parents want their kids returned to them alive every day. That’s not too high a bar”. For this reason, parents should demand that their school boards look at school safety from a realistic standpoint.

But how can parents translate their demand for school safety into action? There are several immediate steps that can be taken.

First, call or email the school board and the superintendent to let them know your thoughts. We urge you to be polite and respectful, but firm in your requests that kids be protected by any and all means possible.

Second, attend school board meetings and use the public comment time to make your views known. Prepare your remarks in advance and prepare to be allowed to speak for about three minutes.

Third, attend town halls with like-minded parents. These types of events are great for educating people on the issues, and there is strength in numbers. A group of parents has a stronger voice than one or two by themselves. Bullets Both Ways’ Foundation – Angel Shield – will be hosting events of this nature in the coming weeks and months.  Its first School Safety and Security Forum (with a School Safety Panel) is coming up on Thursday, October 24th at 6pm in South Denver. Contact Angel Shield for more details.

Fourth, plan to attend and possibly testify at the Colorado General Assembly’s interim committee on school safety. At the very least, you can write an email to the committee members to make your views known. Write to your state representative and senator about your concerns.

Lastly, you can talk to your friends and neighbors. Talk to your church community. Talk to your co-workers.

The Douglas County School Board email addresses are included above. Other helpful links are listed below. Take action now. Kids deserve to be safe in school.


By Richard D. Turnquist


Douglas County School District:

Douglas County Sheriff:            

County Commissioners:

Abe Laydon, District 1          

(303) 660-7401

Roger Partridge, District 2   

(303) 660-7401

Lora Thomas, District 3         

(303) 660-7401

Colorado General Assembly:    

State Senators:

Jim Smallwood, SD #4   

(303) 866-4869

Chris Holbert, SD #30            

(303) 866-4881

State Representatives:

Mark Baisley, HD #39            

(303) 866-2935

Kevin Van Winkle, HD #43  

(303) 866-2936

Kim Ransom, HD #44            

(303) 866-2933

Patrick Neville, HD #45         

(303) 866-5523


Angel Shield  (501c3 Public Charity):

FASTER Colorado:















Angel Shield - Bullets Both Ways Foundation

BULLETS BOTH WAYS launches ANGEL SHIELD a nonprofit 501(c)3

The Bullets Both Ways Foundation dba Angel Shield celebrates its official launch.

June 7, 2019 Denver, CO – Bullets Both Ways – Today marks the official launch of the

Bullets Both Ways Foundation dba Angel Shield. Our Foundation’s primary purpose is

to raise funds to support and provide mental health resources in our schools along with

equipping school and church facilities with updated safety, security, and increased

protection measures. We are the nonprofit arm of Bullets Both Ways and are an official

501c3 Public Charity dba – Angel Shield.

  • Unfortunately, the majority of our nation’s schools do not have adequate budget,

nor is there enough tax revenue allocated for additional protection measures to

be implemented or trained security personnel to be increased.

  • Angel Shield will provide services, products, and grants to these institutions and

houses of worship and also host and/or participate in events and activities that

support and implement a variety of protection objectives.

“We are thrilled to be launching and formally announcing Angel Shield. It has been a

ton of work to get to this point,” says Aaron M. Boyd, the Founder and President, “ We

are on a true mission to further secure and protect our schools and places of worship

and provide resources that will help save lives. Join us!”

We cannot rely on government funding to make our schools safe. It comes down to our

patriots and good American citizens, like yourself, that believe in the original intent of

our constitution, our inalienable rights and the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.

Together we can protect our loved ones with the best possible options available.

You can donate securely online via our website at or checks can

be made out to “Angel Shield” and sent to 16 Inverness Place East Bldg D-200

Englewood, CO 80112

Bullets Both Ways, established 2018, consists of a brand and a nonprofit arm Bullets

Both Ways Foundation / Angel Shield a 501(c)(3) public charity specifically created to

support and provide protection and mental health resources in our nation’s schools

and houses of worship.

If you would like more information about this topic contact:

Evan M.Todd- Phone: (720) 729-1911 or