By Linda Beigel Schulman and Michael Schulman
Please find the card you mailed to our home after our son Scott J. Beigel, the cross country coach and geography teacher, was murdered at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.
I am returning the card to you because the words you wrote ring hollow today. Your insincerity is blatantly obvious. The shallowness of your sentiment, caring, compassion, and concern over the loss of our son, let alone by a 19-year-old former student who walked into a school under your supervision with an AR-15 military assault weapon and who took 17 innocent lives, is apparent by your inaction to honor the 17 who were murdered.
We are not residents of Parkland, Broward, or even the State of Florida. In all of your meetings with survivors, you never sought to meet with us, talk to us, or show any compassion. Maybe that is because we do not live in Parkland, I do not know.
I just learned that the new 1500 building, which was built to replace the 1200 building where 3 members of your faculty and 14 of your students were slaughtered, makes absolutely no mention of the 17 who lost their lives. There is not even any mention of the horrific tragedy which happened on your campus under your watch. WHY???
Where is your empathy? Are you trying to make believe that the events of February 14, 2018, never happened? You have a plaque for students who died in a car accident, but nothing for the 17 murdered on your campus? You glorify and congratulate yourself with a plaque honoring you and the Board, and nothing more. Are you hoping that the memories of that horrible day be forgotten?
People have expressed that you are disrespecting the lives of our loved ones and their family members by not honoring the memory of those murdered on your campus. I find you’re ignoring our loved ones to be totally inappropriate and disrespectful. They will live on forever in our hearts and minds as well as those of the Parkland community. No matter what you do or do not do, you cannot erase that fact.
It is quite apparent that you sought only to protect your “integrity” and “position.” You sought to blame others for your shortcomings and negligence. You ignored, except in a totally superficial way, the heartache and pain of those who lost beloved family members. You talked the talk.
You said and wrote all the right things. They were just words with no real emotion or feeling behind them. You never truly walked the walk except when it was beneficial to you personally or professionally.
To this day, you have not done anything meaningful to honor the memory of the 17 who were murdered. Please understand, the memories of those murdered during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre will live on and should be honored by you and MSD for all to remember FOREVER.
You will be just a footnote in that history, the Superintendent who was responsible for the carnage. You have to live with the fact that you could have prevented the death of 17 innocent souls.
We entrusted you with keeping our loved ones safe. You failed miserably.
You have to live with the fact because of your negligence, your name, the City of Parkland, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be remembered as the place where the largest high school shooting in United States history took place. Inscribed on Scott’s mausoleum is the word hero; what will your headstone read??? Coward and feckless.
When you are no longer superintendent, maybe a more compassionate superintendent will honor the memory of the MSD 17. I hope so, not only for my family and me but also for the other 16 families.
G-d bless and honor the memory of the MSD 17!!!
Scott Beigel was a geography teacher and cross country coach who was fatally shot outside his classroom door after holding it open for fleeing students when he went to lock it after ushering them inside.
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