Turns out officials lied, Parkland shooter WAS assigned to controversial no-jail discipline program

The Parkland school shooter was reportedly assigned to a controversial disciplinary program contrary to previous denials by the Broward school district.

Nikolas Cruz, who opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February killing 17 people, was referred to the “PROMISE Program”  for three days following  an act of vandalism at Westglades Middle School in 2013, WLRN reported.

(Photo by Mike Stocker-Pool/Getty Images)

Broward school district officials admitted the fact on Sunday even though the school superintendent had said Cruz had “no connection” to the program, which allows students found guilty of certain misdemeanors to attend an alternative school to receive counseling while avoiding the criminal justice system.

District administrators were “aggressively analyzing Cruz’s records,” WLRN reported that Tracy Clark, a spokeswoman for Superintendent Robert Runcie, stated on Friday. On Sunday, the district had “confirmed” Cruz’s referral to PROMISE.

Cruz apparently was at Pine Ridge Education Center in Fort Lauderdale the day after he vandalized the middle school bathroom on Nov. 25, 2013, according to Clark, but he did not attend the program.

“It does not appear that Cruz completed the recommended three-day assignment/placement,” Clark said, adding she did not want to “speculate” as to why.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office also said Cruz didn’t attend PROMISE.

“The school board reports that there was no PROMISE program participation,” BSO representative Jack Dale said.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

According to WLRN:

PROMISE has come under scrutiny after 17 people died in the Feb. 14 shooting at Stoneman Douglas, in part because one of the injured survivors is planning a lawsuit that will argue the program led school leaders to demonstrate a lax attitude toward discipline.

Runcie and school board members remain steadfastly committed to PROMISE, which was designed to limit the “school-to-prison pipeline” at a time when more kids were getting arrested in Broward schools than any other district in the state. The administrators have worked to combat what they argue is a politically motivated attack based on “misinformation” and “fake news.”

 

Runcie argued there is no link between PROMISE and the Parkland shooting, calling the attacks on the  program  “reprehensible.”

Students must commit one or more of the 13 misdemeanors listed in the PROMISE program to be eligible to attend from three to 10 days at Pine Ridge Education Center. According to Runcie, about 1,600 to 2,000 students participate in the program annually.

Stoneman Douglas freshman, Anthony Borges, is credited with saving up to 20 people while getting shot trying to shield others. After his release from the hospital last month, he and his family announced lawsuits against the Broward school district and others who they believe were negligent in preventing the shooting.

“You failed us students, teachers and parents alike on so many levels,”  Borges said at a [press conference. “I want to ask you today to please end your policy and agreement that you will not arrest people committing crimes in our schools.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also targeted the program back in March.

Runcie argued that students committing serious crimes are dealt with accordingly.

“The narrative out there that we have lawlessness going on in our schools … is absolutely not true,” Runcie said, according to WLRN.

“There is no intent to get rid of the PROMISE program,” School Board Member Rosalind Osgood said at a meeting last month.

The father of one of the students killed by Cruz reacted in a series of tweets to the “stunning revelation.”

Ryan Petty, who lost his daughter Alaina in the mass shooting, slammed the district for its lies as officials have still kept their jobs despite failing in their duty to students, teachers and their families.

Petty noted that children and teachers are “still at risk.”

Frieda Powers

Comments

Latest Articles