SUNRISE, Fla. — The Latest on the investigation into the school shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (all times local):
An official of the school district where the Florida school massacre happened has told an investigative commission that a controversial diversion program for problem students is a success.
Broward County schools administrator Michaelle Pope told the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission on Thursday that the district's Promise program has reduced campus crime.
Pope says the number of offenses covered by the Promise program have fallen by two-thirds from about 6,000 a year to about 2,000 a year during the program's five years.
Under the Promise program, students are sent to an alternative program for up to 10 days and they and their families received counseling.
Critics have said the program has made campus police officers reluctant to arrest students like Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student accused of killing 17 students and staff on Feb. 14.
Florida officials told the commission investigating the Parkland high school massacre that state juvenile crime diversion programs have a high success rate.
Department of Juvenile Justice research director Mark Greenwald told the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission on Thursday that only about 4 percent of low-risk offenders put into diversion programs reoffend within a year. These might be children caught drinking alcohol, committing petty shoplifting, fighting or other minor offenses. In a typical diversion program, the child is required to perform community service within a short period of time and avoid a criminal record.
The programs do not apply to juveniles who commit violent or otherwise serious crimes.
Greenwald could not address Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student accused of killing 17 students and staff on Feb. 14. Critics have said that Cruz should have been arrested at some point as he had more than 20 juvenile contacts with law enforcement officers at home and school, including allegations that he made threats to kill his former girlfriend's friends while he was in high school.
Cruz did not explicitly avoid any criminal charge during high school through diversion into the Promise program. He was referred to the program, but did not formally enter it, during middle school after a vandalism incident.
Attorneys for Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz have asked a judge to block release of parts of what police call his confession following his arrest in the Valentine's Day massacre.
The motion filed Wednesday contends that parts of the statement "will cause significant trauma to an already beleaguered community" rocked by the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The motion also says that releasing the statement would violate Cruz's constitutional rights to a fair trial and against self-incrimination.
Cruz's lawyers want Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer to either block much of the statement or review before deciding which parts should be disclosed.
The 19-year-old Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted. His lawyers say he will plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence.
The father of a student slain in the Florida high school massacre has resigned from a commission investigating how policies should change.
Andrew Pollack said in a letter read Thursday at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission that he wants to concentrate on getting new members elected to the Broward County school board. His daughter Meadow was one of 17 students and staff killed.
The commission Thursday will discuss diversion programs for students who commit crimes deemed minor. Suspect Nikolas Cruz was referred to a program while in middle school but never completed it. The members will also discuss school design and active-shooter protocols.
The commission's 15 members will report their findings to Gov. Rick Scott and make recommendations for preventing future shootings.
The task force investigating the Florida high school shooting massacre is set to discuss student diversion programs, school security and campus police.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission is meeting Thursday and Friday as part of Florida's ongoing re-evaluation of school safety.
Its 16 members include law enforcement officers, educators and parents of three slain students.
They will report to Gov. Rick Scott by Jan. 1 their findings on what led to the Feb. 14 attack that left 17 dead. The commission also will make recommendations for preventing future shootings.
Suspect Nikolas Cruz was referred to a diversion program for students accused of minor crimes while in middle school but never completed it.
The sheriff's deputy formerly assigned to Stoneman Douglas has been accused of not protecting students. Scot Peterson denied wrongdoing.