Last Guardian Angel told to leave Stoneman Douglas High School campus
PARKLAND, Fla. (CBS12) —
It’s been almost eight months since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Since then, the Guardian Angels -- volunteers dressed in red berets and jackets -- have stood outside, patrolling the school to keep students safe.
“I love these people in Parkland, they are like family,” Guardian Angel David “Cobra” Clemente said.
Now, the familiar face outside Stoneman Douglas has to leave by next Friday, according to Cobra. He is the last member of the Guardian Angels who kept his word since Feb. 14 to stand guard outside the school.
It brings a sense of comfort students like senior Gabriella Figueroa.
“It’s nice to see him there, having the extra person there,” she said.
Cobra said it all started after he posted on Facebook last week.
A part of it read: “There is a big drug problem at Douglas high school. Drugs are being taken and drugs are being sold inside of the school.”
Cobra said students brought it to his attention.
“The school administration said we will work with you on that, well work together,” he said.
Days later, Cobra said Principal Ty Thompson told him his services were no longer needed.
“He did thank me for my services. I will abide. This is his school, so we the Guardian Angels have no problem," Cobra said. "You ask us to leave, we will leave."
Broward County Public Schools confirmed Principal Thompson’s decision to CBS12 News, adding that Mr. Clemente is not an employee of the school or district. They did not comment further about any drug problem at Stoneman Douglas.
Parents feel it’s unfair Cobra has to leave after doing what the school tells children all the time: if you see something, say something.
Angela Weber, a local parent, gathered more than 500 signatures on Change.org for Cobra to stay.
“We just want the truth," Weber said. "We’ve been through so much, and we want to know honestly what is going on here?”
Another mom, Amy Moret, said Cobra is needed at the school.
“He opens his heart and soul, everything to the kids, to the parents,” Moret said.
She even started a GoFundMe page in hopes to keep their chapter alive.
For now, Cobra said he will volunteer his time in the Panhandle helping victims of Hurricane Michael.
He plans to come back in the future.
“I will still patrol the city. I will still be here when the city needs me,” Cobra said.