The principal of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. announced Friday that he will resign at the end of the school year, more than a year after a former student open fired on the campus, killing 17 people on Valentine’s Day in 2018.
Principal Ty Thompson, 47, cited health and family reasons for his decision to step down after six years in the position.
“Advisers and fellow colleagues always said take care of yourself. If at any point you feel like it is affecting your family or your health you need to make a change,” Thompson said, according to the Sun Sentinel of South Florida. “That time has come."
“This decision today is all about Ty’s health, his family and his need to care of himself," Lisa Maxwell, executive director of the Broward Principals and Assistants Association, told the Sun Sentinel of Thompson’s decision to step down. "He’s spent the last more than a year taking care of everybody else, and now it’s his time.”
Thompson has been under investigation by the Broward School District since March of this year. The school district hired a second principal to handle day-to-day operations at the high school while Thompson was assigned to oversee recovery efforts as well as plans for a new building.
“I wanted to stay and see this through but I just can’t continue at this pace,” Thompson said in a pre-recorded robocall sent out to students and parents. “My decision was not an easy one. The district is supporting me so I can step away from my position at MSD.”
Thompson was not on campus at the time of the shooting. He was set to depart on a scheduled vacation but was pulled off the plane on the runway before takeoff when news of the shooting in Parkland broke.
He received backlash from a state panel assigned to investigate the shooting in December for not being informed on how his administration handled student threats. Three assistant principals were also transferred from Stoneman Douglas in November as the investigation continues.
Thompson said he plans to send students off at graduation and do “everything I can to leave the school in the best shape possible for the next principal.” Teresa Hall, the former principal at West Broward High School in Pembroke Pines, Fla., will take over Thompson’s position.