'Does Nikolas Cruz deserve to die?': School just 10-minutes away from Parkland shooting slammed for insensitive quiz
The quiz, handed out to students at Coral Glades High School, slammed by students, activists, and parents of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
A reading comprehension quiz controversially titled "Does Nicolas Cruz Deserve to Die?" given to students at a school just 10 minutes away from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida has been slammed across various social media platforms.
The Washington Post reports that the quiz, which first appeared in an October issue of the New York Times Upfront magazine — a current events magazine intended for classroom use — was distributed this past week to students at the Coral Glades High School, which is only a 10-minute drive from the school where Nicolas Cruz gunned down 17 victims on Valentine's day.
“Does Nikolas Cruz Deserve to Die?”— Kenneth Preston (@kennethrpreston) 7 December 2018
Today 9th graders at a school just 10 minutes from the Stoneman Douglas shooting were given this assignment.
Crazy idea, don’t give kids assignments on the shooter that killed their friends? pic.twitter.com/eq146gUYJc
It asked students to categorize Stoneman shooting survivor Cameron Kasky's statement on Cruz, "Let him rot forever," as either angry, fearful, gloomy, or truthful.
Student activist Kenneth Preston was the first to criticize the quiz, taking to Twitter and writing, "Today 9th graders at a school just 10 minutes from the Stoneman Douglas shooting were given this assignment. Crazy idea, don’t give kids assignments on the shooter that killed their friends?"
Kasky, one of the founders of the March for Our Lives movement, expressed how "pathetic" he found that a school would give such a quiz to students, posting, "This worksheet was given to students in @BrowardSchools. I cannot begin to express how pathetic I find this. Our school board should add this to the list of 1000+ reasons to be ashamed."
The backlash only increased from there on. Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the 17 victims in what was one of the worst school shootings in the country's history, did not hold back either, saying, "This is absolutely despicable. Does anyone [at Broward County Public Schools] have a brain?"
This worksheet was given to students in @BrowardSchools. I cannot begin to express how pathetic I find this. Our school— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) 7 December 2018
board should add this to the list of 1000+ reasons to be ashamed. pic.twitter.com/tEl3BzTLg0
The school was eventually forced to issue an apology for the blunder, releasing a statement on their website that read, "Coral Glades High School administration was unaware that an assignment, which included insensitive content concerning Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had been distributed to students today."
"The material was from a subscription-based publication, used as a curriculum resource. The school’s leadership has pulled the assignment, is instituting an approved review process of all such materials and regrets that this incident occurred. Broward County Public Schools is working with the publisher to make them aware of our concerns."
Prosecutors previously announced that they would be seeking the death penalty for 20-year-old Cruz. However, the public defender's office, which is representing him, is seeking a plea deal where he would plead guilty in exchange for a life in prison without the possibility of parole, though there has been no progress on the same so far.
If the trial proceeds, they are expected to use evidence of the 20-year-old's serious mental illness as a mitigating factor, and a new 2017 Florida law that mandates the jury has to vote unanimously to put convicted killers to death, which means the defense has to just convince one juror to side with Cruz.