Broward's Schools: Doubling Down on Deception
Broward Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie appeared on this week's edition of Local 10's Sunday morning commentary show in South Florida. There he doubled down on his ongoing promotion of the official deception that he and Broward Schools do not compromise on the law or public safety. The fact is that Robert Runcie and the entire Broward School Board have been compromising on law and public safety for years.
Runcie appeared with Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg, who assisted Runcie in the now six-year's long promotion of the lie that the Promise Program is a legitimate alternative to following the mandate of the law with regard to duly processing students who commit violent misdemeanors. Runcie refers to those as minor offenses, although victims of violence in schools disagree. Putney and Milberg, seasoned media veterans, seemed oblivious to the deception.
Runcie claimed that most students under the Promise Program have not been given multiple chances to avoid prosecution. But then he revealed that, according to his own research, such repeated multiple chances took place in only 11 cases.
Why, one might ask, were 11 students allowed to avoid prosecution, after having committed a series of offenses, while others presumably were not? Doesn't it seem like favoritism by authorities is in effect with regard to those not prosecuted, even after many offenses committed by them, while many others were alleged not to have been given multiple chances to avoid prosecution?
Runcie's claim that students under the Promise Program have not been given multiple chances to avoid prosecution has been contradicted by teachers employed by Broward Schools.
Why are violent misdemeanors referred to by Runcie as minor offenses? Bullying is a major problem. Teachers have been claiming that they are fearful in the classroom, due to lack of discipline, disrespectful behavior, and students who commit assaults, threats, and battery in the classroom. Teaching is impeded by unruly behavior for which teachers claim that administrators do not discipline problematic students. So the clear message has been well publicized by school administrators, under the policies of the Promise Program, that bad behavior is condoned and that violent behavior will be overlooked.
Why are school administrators, in collusion with other public officials, allowed to perpetuate policies that foster violence and other antisocial behaviors?
Why are school administrators allowed to continue to violate the law in order to perpetuate those unlawful and degrading policies? In order to implement the policies of the Promise Program, officials must frequently suppress evidence, commit breach of duty and culpable negligence, and become accomplices of the crimes committed by minors.
Why are school administrators allowed to continue to send the clear message to students that crime pays, that they can make up their own rules, that respect for rule of law is unimportant, that their crimes will not be punished, and that adults do not keep the oath to support and defend the law, but violate it when it seems convenient to them?
Runcie seems to believe that refusing to enforce the law is acceptable, even though the implementation of the policies under which crimes are not reported, processed, or prosecuted involves commission of a series of crimes by officials who fail to report and process those crimes.
Some school officials continue to repeat the unsupportable position that prosecuting students who commit crimes does nothing to improve public safety. But the result of refusing to prosecute students who are criminals has been to promote a culture of criminality, unruly and disrespectful behavior, and lack of respect for law, authority, and society.
The problem has to do with federal dollars. School systems that suppress reporting of crimes, in order to artificially create the false appearance of higher levels of discipline, qualify for more federal funds than those school systems that accurately report incidences of student crime. So Broward Schools, by fudging the numbers, and by suppressing reports of student criminality, "qualify" for higher federal funding.
But in the process, Broward Schools, in collusion with the state attorney, the sheriff, police chiefs, and other corrupt bureaucrats, violate the law and promote disrespect for it. And they also allow the perpetuation of lack of discipline in classrooms, where education is stifled.
The problem is more complex, as other kinds of corruption are perpetuated in Broward Schools by its executives and administrators. Maybe someday the local media will spontaneously grow a conscience and investigate that corruption.