To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters
A former administrator at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has retired early, in the midst of a Broward school district investigation about his role in last year’s shooting.Jeff Morford was an assistant principal at the school when the massacre that took 17 lives and injured another 17 people occurred on February 14, 2018. He has been accused by a state commission of failing to help prevent such a situation.Morford had signed up for a deferred retirement program last year and was planning to leave in 2023, according to district records. However, his last day was September 4.Lisa Maxwell, executive director of the Broward Principals and Assistants Association, says he decided to retire early as a result of “overall trauma” from the massacre. She adds, “He’s been re-traumatized over and over again. He’s just done.”According to Maxwell, prosecutors in the criminal case for killer Nikolas Cruz have required the former assistant principal to repeatedly watch video of the shooting, which killed coach and security monitor Chris Hixon, with whom Maxwell was good friends.The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, which is still investigating the tragedy, concluded that Morford had mishandled a September 2016 threat assessment of Cruz, who was a student at the school at that time.A 2018 report from the commission states that Morford was not competent in such tasks, and had never handled such evaluations during his 31-year career.Assistant Principal Denise Reed told the commission, “Jeff is old school. He only did operations. He never did any discipline at where he was at his previous location and so Jeff said: ‘I don’t even know where to find a threat assessment.’”A student told the commission that he and a classmate warned Morford that they were concerned about Cruz being a school shooter, since Cruz had reportedly looked up guns on a school computer, pretended to shoot birds on campus, and alleged that he liked seeing people in pain.The student said that Morford and a deputy did not seem concerned, and that Morford told the student to Google “autism,” implying that Cruz had the condition.The report adds, “Morford told the students that Cruz was being sent to alternative school and they did not need to worry.”The commission asked the district to investigate how Morford handled the threat review. Upon finding that Morford’s inability to answer detailed questions did not seem credible, they hired a law firm to review his actions, as well as those of two other assistant principals and a security specialist. Former Principal Ty Thompson was added to the list last March.Runcie informed the commission that the investigation should be finished later this month or next month.The administrators were transferred to new jobs this summer. Morford had been serving as an assistant principal at Coconut Creek High School, but was reportedly not able to avoid the daily stress caused by the shooting.In addition to his administrative duties, Morford opened a bar in Pompano Beach last summer called the Axe Throwing Society. It features 14 ax-throwing “lanes” that look like fenced-in batting cages, where customers can fling lightweight axes at wooden targets.
Officials last week declared “substantial completion” of 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium after nearly 1,000 days were spent building the $2 billion home for the Raiders.Both the New York Jets and Giants previously announced they would play without fans this season. Most other teams are hoping to be able to have at least limited crowds.The Raiders relocated from Oakland, California, after last season.___The National Hockey League says there have been zero positive coronavirus test results since 24 teams entered quarantined bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Cleveland Browns have placed third-string quarterback Garrett Gilbert on the reserve/COVID list and activated punter Jamie Gillan. He had tested positive for coronavirus. Seven St. Louis Cardinals players and six staff members tested positive for COVID-19, causing Major League Baseball to postpone the team’s four-game series at Detroit.The series was to have been played at Comerica Park from Tuesday through Thursday.St. Louis has been in quarantine since Thursday in Milwaukee, where the Cardinals’ series last weekend was postponed, and the team is being tested daily. St. Louis last played July 29 at Minnesota and is tentatively set to resume its schedule this Friday at home against the Chicago Cubs.The Cardinals are the second team sidelined by the novel coronavirus since the season started July 23. The league announced it had administered more than 7,000 tests to players, coaches, staff and officials over the past week. Teams with 52-member traveling parties entered the bubbles July 26.There were also zero positives the previous week when teams were still in their home cities for training camp.___Results of COVID-19 testing conducted Sunday show there were no new positive results for the Philadelphia Phillies. The team was traveling to New York to resume its schedule against the Yankees in a night game. Associated Press The Phillies (1-2) have not played since July 26. Their opponent in that opening series, the Miami Marlins, had at least 18 players test positive for the coronavirus. Although the Phillies didn’t have any players test positive, their games last week were postponed as a cautionary measure.___Danish organizers say the Tour de France start due to take place in Copenhagen next year has been moved to 2022 to avoid being held in the same month as the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and the European Championship soccer tournament.Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen says the move means the three-stage Tour start in his city will now be planned for July 1-3, 2022, adding that he hopes the coronavirus pandemic will have passed by then.The 2021 Tour was scheduled set to start on July 2. The Miami Marlins are set to resume play Tuesday in Baltimore following an outbreak within their traveling party that sidelined half the players. Miami has not played since July 26.Because the outbreak occurred in the visiting clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies were sidelined for a week while they were tested daily.___The Raiders will play their first season in Las Vegas without any fans at their home games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The team sent a letter to season ticket holders on Monday saying that after discussion with health care officials and local leaders, the decision was made not to allow fans. August 3, 2020 The Tour’s French organizers have yet to announce a replacement city for Copenhagen, although there have been reports that the three-week event could start from the French region of Brittany in 2021.This year’s Tour, which was supposed to start in June, will now be held Aug. 29-Sept. 20 — starting in Nice.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Browns also placed safety Karl Joseph on the active/physically unable to perform list with a foot injury. He was signed during the offseason and is expected to start. Gilbert joined the Browns last season to back up Baker Mayfield, a close friend from their high school days in Texas. Gilbert is third on the depth chart now after the Browns signed veteran QB Case Keenum. Last week, first-year Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he didn’t see the need to keep his quarterbacks separated because of the virus. Other teams have considered the move in case of an outbreak.Gillan set a team record for net average last year as a rookie. He was placed on the COVID list last week after testing positive when veterans reported.___ The Latest: Browns announce two COVID-19 related moves.