Wednesday, June 27, 2018
- Ray Feis - brother of Aaron Feis, the coach who died shielding students during the February 14 mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – gave his first interview since the incident to CBS 4 Miami on Monday. Feis praised the actions of his brother and fellow coaches who were killed protecting students, called for resignations in school and police leadership, and criticized the lack of action by organizations previously alerted to the shooter’s concerning behavior.
PARKLAND, Fla. (PRWEB) June 27, 2018
Ray Feis, brother of the late Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School coach and celebrated hero Aaron Feis, spoke out in his first interview on Monday. Feis sat down with anchor Rudabeh Shahbazi of CBS News 4 Miami for the exclusive, where he applauded the actions of Feis and other coaches who died defending students, criticized organizations who took no action when alerted to prior actions of the shooter, and called for significant changes in the Broward County School System.
Describing Aaron as his own "protector" and a "father figure," and a caring mentor who made sure students had lunch and even bought them shoes when needed, Feis said he was not surprised that his brother rushed to shield students during the mass shooting on February 14, 2018, even though it meant losing his own life. Aaron Feis, along with fellow coaches Chris Hixon and Scott Biegel, died while trying to stop the shooter, a former student. In all, 17 people were killed in the massacre and many more injured. Feis stated that on the day of the shooting, Aaron, as well as Hixon and Biegel, did what they did every day - make sure the kids were safe.
Ray Feis pointed out that the shooter, "an individual with documented mental health issues," had multiple encounters with law enforcement, administrators and others, while exhibiting violent, anti-social and bizarre behavior, but he "just kept getting passed over." Feis criticized the multiple agencies which had previously been made aware of these issues and noted that "no one wanted to do the right thing."
In the interview, Feis advocated that more attention should be focused on students with mental health issues in the Broward County Public School System, "so other potential shooters do not slip through the cracks." He also told Shahbazi that Aaron, among others, had repeatedly tried to get help for the shooter, but that "the teachers and staff don't have the amount of backing that they actually need."
Feis ultimately points to a failure in leadership as the reason for the systematic breakdowns that resulted in Aaron and 16 others being killed at Stoneman Douglas. Feis has called for Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie, as well as Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, to step down while their departments are being investigated.
Feis has publicly endorsed Broward County School Board candidate Richard Mendelson, who was one of Aaron's best friends. Feis believes Mendelson is the best person for the job, due to his background in security, PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and extensive experience as a coach and educator at Stoneman Douglas High School.
Mendelson has become a symbol of change in the Broward County School Board race. His platform emphasizes school safety, hardening of schools, fair pay for teachers, and accountability - all of which Ray Feis believes are now lacking.
For more information on School Board Candidate Richard A. Mendelson, Ph.D., please visit: http://www.mendelsonbcps6.com/.
#MSDTRUTH #AARONPROUD #MSDTRUSTHISNOW
It has been the privilege of this law firm to represent and assist some of the victims' families of the MSD shooting. I have been amazed at their resilience and that of the surviving students. I have never witnessed such human courage and strength, particularly by those so young. However, I have been angered by the lack of answers, information and investigative conclusions that should have been disclosed by now to these families, to the MSD students, to the people of Broward County, to the people of the state of Florida, and to the people across our nation who have supported these victims and their families.
Today Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie fired two BCSD security guards who did nothing during the MSD shooting except hide. Too little, too late is not strong enough to describe Runcie's inept actions. BCSD has protected these security guards (and others) for the last almost 5 months. Are these two security guards supposed to be the sacrificial lambs or diversionary strategy, like BSO Deputy Scott Peterson was for law enforcement, for all of the sins of the Broward County School Board and District? I think not.
Don't get me wrong. Peterson should have been fired not retired. These two security guards deserve to be fired. All law enforcement officers and security guards who protected themselves instead of the victims should also face criminal charges, where appropriate.
But my most pressing question is when are the people who make the final decisions (and provide such "amazing leadership" ) going to be held accountable? Why was BSO Deputy Scott Peterson permitted to resign instead of being fired? Why haven't any law enforcement officers (either from BSO or from other agencies) who hid instead of going in to shoot the shooter at MSD (as they are required to do) been fired?
Most importantly, why haven't Robert Runcie and Scott Israel been removed from office? The underlying criminal case is not complicated. It is the series of acts by multiple people at every level of government of enormous ineptitude, incompetence, cowardice, corruption, conspiracy, perjury, greed, malfeasance, nonfeasance, dereliction of duty, and outright fraud that created the perfect storm for this horrific act to be consummated. For these reasons, the leaders, the cowards, the corrupt, and ALL of their accomplices need to pay the price for this senseless loss of life and injury to innocent victims and their families.
I am calling on the students of MSD, their parents, our political leaders, and the people of our community to demand and insist upon the disclosure of the truth and full transparency as to what really happened on February 14, 2018 at MSD and hold accountable EVERYONE AT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT OR PUBLIC SERVICE who was involved and contributed to this travesty. Enough of the gamesmanship, diversionary tactics and political rhetoric!
This is not a political issue, it is a human issue. We all need to speak up on behalf of those who cannot speak and insist on accountability at all levels. NOW!