On Wednesday morning (Mar. 21) over 700 Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) high schoolers missed class due to the lack of quality of security. The school community is still reeling from the traumatic 2018 Valentine’s Day Massacre. It was a bloody and murderous act that left 17 dead and several others wounded.

The shooter, a 19-year-old former student with a history of strange and violent behaviors, was expelled from the school over a year ago for possession of firearms. By his fellow classmates’ account, Nikolas Cruz was known to be quiet, a bit odd and did not seem to have any friends.

To date, it is still unclear what prompted Cruz to go on a deadly rampage, but many point to mental health issues as being the reason for the killings.

All in the family

Through investigation, authorities learned that Cruz was adopted and both parents were deceased, with his adoptive mother recently passing away in November 2017. It is thought that this may have triggered or even escalated some of Cruz’s aggressive behavior. Perhaps this was the last Jenga block on his pile that led to a break from reality?

After the February shooting, Cruz’s younger brother, Zachary, found himself in the middle of media coverage and the town’s broken heart. Zachary told reporters that he felt bad for bullying and teasing his brother when they were younger; implying his actions may have impacted his brother's mindset.

Zachary even visited his incarcerated brother who was charged with multiple murders and attempted murders. To the average compassionate American, one would view this as a guilt-ridden brother who was reaching out to understand the “why” of it all.

However, things aren’t always what they appear to be.

Jealous much?

Wednesday (Mar.

21), CNN’s Rosa Flores reported that over the past weeks, Zachary has visited his brother in jail where he had conversations with Nikolas about his newfound infamy.

According to sources, in their talks, Zachary went on and on in admiration of how popular Nikolas was now, and how his name and picture is everywhere on TV and in the media; adding, that he will probably get lots of girls and discussed the possibility of a fan club.

It would appear to the armchair psychologist that Zachary is celebrating and idolizing his brother, perhaps even consumed with envy. All of this while a nation tries to make sense of why teens have guns and support a community who is struggling to glue their shattered lives back together.

The scary part of all of this is not the idolizing of one’s sibling; it’s the tiny intricacies of something awry.

Twilight Zone

Authorities are considering Zachary Cruz as a threat now. The labeling of being potentially dangerous is not because of his family jailhouse visits, but because Zachary Cruz had allegedly been trespassing at the school where his brother killed 17 people--a school he does not attend. He was caught three times on school campus with the third violation resulting in his arrest.

Zachary was arraigned in bond court Tuesday (Mar. 20) where the judge heard the charges and particulars warranting bail, if any, for Cruz allegedly trespassing. The prosecution presented a persuasive argument telling the presiding judge that Zachary is following in his brother’s footsteps and that he is a threat to the community.

The State cited the school’s incident report which detailed Zachary’s statements of defense to school officials. Cruz told school personnel his reason for being in the school was because he was reflecting on the shooting and soaking it all in.

The prosecution urged the judge to set a bond that would not allow Zachary’s release. It must have worked because the bond was set at a half million dollars.

First cowering, now sleeping

A bigger problem than the brother of a mass murderer aspiring to be another lost soul is the lack of concern from those hired to protect and serve—our children. Parkland police deputies are making it easy for disaster to strike twice at MSD High School.

If Zachary’s trespassing wasn’t enough to fry nerve endings, an MSD school security officer, a Broward County Deputy, was found sleeping while on duty in his patrol car—right outside of the building where the massacre occurred just last month.

This is the second Broward County deputy to shirk his responsibilities. The last deputy stayed outside while the school was being shot up, and even told others to not go inside.

That deputy has since resigned and Sleeping Beauty has been suspended.

This is what led MSD to develop stricter security protocols but 20 percent of the student population still stayed home Wednesday because they feared for their safety. Florida's Governor Scott (R) offered to provide extra security and state police at the school after hearing of the trespassing incident and the sleepy officer.

The additional officers will be in place on Thursday (Mar. 22) and stationed at all exits. This should alleviate some anxieties.

Still optimistic

Emotions are at full throttle and it seems members of Broward County Sheriff’s Department continue to find themselves in the center of ineptitude. Students have commented that they are tired of feeling endangered, yet they press onward.

In spite of the lack of professional school officers and a small fraction of MSD kids bringing knives and making threatening social media posts through words and images, Parkland still looks to a brighter day. It is the hope of the nation that the upcoming march on Saturday (Mar.24), 'March for Our Lives,' will apply the ointment to the wounds that continue to heal.