Stoneman Douglas Commission Member Wants Training Deal Investigated

WINTER HAVEN -- A member of the Stoneman Douglas public safety commission blasts the Palm Beach County School superintendent and school board chairman for hiring a private firm that didn't meet state standards to train armed guards at charter schools.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says paying Invictus $3,000 per student for "armed guardian" training... when they could have gotten trained by any sheriff's office in Florida for free... smacks of "institutional corruption."

"I want to know, how did (Palm Beach schools) procure this bunch of rascals from Invictus," Judd said.

The commission found that the company's lead instructor was not certified and quit before being fired for violating training policy at the Lauderhill police department in March of 2018.

Judd says even though five students failed the firearms qualification training, Invictus certified them as passing. An on-site visit found several compliance issues including allowing an 80 percent passing grade instead of 85 percent, and non-certified instructors covering topics.

As far as the school system's grade on handling charter school safety, Judd gives it an "F."

"Do you know where the school districts are that have fought us the worst on protecting the children?... Broward... ground zero... and Palm Beach next door... what were you thinking?". Judd said.

Judd accused the Palm Beach district of "hiring lawyers to play word games with our children's lives" by seeking to avoid requirements under the 2018 school safety law passed by the Legislature and a 2019 fix.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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