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Astor Discusses Expectations on School Security Officers During Mass Shootings

UCLA Luskin Professor Ron Avi Astor spoke to BBC News about the trial of Scot Peterson, a school security officer who chose to take cover rather than storm into a school building in 2018 to confront a gunman in Parkland, Florida. Peterson stood trial for neglect of a child in relation to his decisions during a mass shooting incident in which 17 people died and 17 more were injured. Recurring tragedies like the Parkland shooting have put law enforcement officers under intense pressure to engage directly with armed assailants, but “is it a reasonable thing to do for somebody who’s not a SWAT team member, or trained in the military?” said Astor, an expert in school violence. Noting that even highly trained police officers call for backup in dangerous situations, Astor said confronting active shooters is too much to expect of school employees. On June 29, Peterson was found not guilty on all counts.


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