An unarmed security monitor accused of doing too little when a gunman opened fire in the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was nearly fired for sexually harassing two female students — one of them a victim in the deadly Parkland massacre.
Sexual harassment allegations raised against 39-year-old Andrew Medina were reviewed by the school district’s Professional Standards Committee, which concluded there was probable cause to charge him with inappropriate conduct, according to records obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. On Oct. 4, just months before the Valentine’s Day mass shooting, they recommended his dismissal.
But he wasn’t fired.
“Discipline should not be termination, but instead a three-day suspension,” reads a handwritten note at the bottom of the investigative report. Craig Nichols, chief of human resources for the district, signed off on the request and Medina was allowed to keep his job.
— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) June 14, 2018
According to records obtained by the newspaper, Medina, who has also worked as the school’s JV basebell coach since 2010, asked out one female student and made lewd comments to another.
Hunter Pollack, 20, confirmed that his sister, Meadow Pollack, was one of the students harassed by the security monitor. She was one of the 17 people killed when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz loosed a barrage of bullets inside the Parkland school.
Pollack said he and his father didn’t know about the incident until the after the shooting, noting that Medina would have been fired otherwise.
“I think it’s politically incorrect that they didn’t fire him because if they did, maybe they would have had someone competent to stop [Cruz] from getting onto campus,” Pollack told CBS 4 News.
Medina, who was not armed at the time, told investigators shortly after the attack that he didn’t confront Cruz or lock down the school. Rather he radioed fellow monitor David Taylor, warning him about a suspicious kid heading in his direction. Medina did little else to warn about the incoming threat while Taylor hid in a closet.
Both have since been reassigned, though the Pollacks and other families called for Medina’s firing last week after listening to his video testimony on the shooting.
One teen, who also accused Medina of harassment, said she is speaking up and telling her story because Meadow no longer can.
“She doesn’t have a voice anymore so I need to be that voice for her because this man should not be able to work on a school campus, period,” she told CBS 4.
The former student, who did not wish to be identified, said Medina harassed her while she still in school in 2017.
“One time he said to me that his kids were gone for the weekend and that he wants me to come over and he wants to buy drinks for me, but I can’t tell anyone,” the teen said.
She also recalled an instance in which Medina asked her where she worked and whether or not it would be alright for him to stop by.
“He was like, ‘I’m gonna come in so I can flirt with you. It’s gonna be off campus so I can finally flirt with you so I won’t get in trouble,’” she said, adding that she called out of work for the entire weekend because she was so uncomfortable.
For the next several weeks, she worked to dodge Medina just as Meadow did.
“Both students became so uncomfortable with Mr. Medina’s actions, they sought out different routes to their classes in an attempt to avoid him,” according to the investigative report, prepared by Robert Spence, a special detective with the district’s Special Investigation Unit.
Medina, in the same report, denied the allegations, claiming that he asked a student to go to a baseball game to support the school. While he conceded that he was “a little friendly” with a student, Medina noted that he was raising two children on his own and would “not put himself in a compromising situation,” according to notes written by a member of his discipline panel.
Child Protective Services was not notified amid the harassment investigation nor was a police report completed “as this case is solely administrative,” the investigator wrote.
Andrew Pollack, Meadow’s father, said it’s “mind-boggling and upsetting” that the district has opted to reassign the security monitor.
“No one in the county has been held accountable for what happened,” he told the Sun Sentinel. “Not one person has lost their job.”