After denying for months that accused Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz had any connection to a program created to soften school punishment and reduce student arrests, the Broward County School District is now changing their story.
Back in March, Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said Cruz was not involved in the PROMISE program while in high school but on Monday, the school district clarified that statement, saying Cruz was referred to the program in middle school.
"While attending Westglades Middle School in 2013, there was a disciplinary infraction (“Vandalism/Destruction of Property less than $1,000” offense on November 25, 2013, in a bathroom at Westglades Middle School), that could have been a PROMISE eligible offense," the statement read. "However, that while our records indicate that Cruz underwent an intake interview/process at Pine Ridge on November 26, 2013, it does not appear that Cruz completed the recommended three-day assignment/placement."
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the 17 people killed in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said he feels misled by Runcie.
"He deflected, he lied, and he didn't take responsibility," Pollack said.
"Our District’s and Superintendent Runcie’s previous comments were an honest effort to respond with what was believed at the time to be correct information. The District has now learned new details – and that information is being shared – proof of the District’s ongoing commitment to transparency," the district's statement read.
Even Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted about the matter on Monday.
"I was repeatedly told that the Parkland shooter was never in the Promise Program I was asking questions about. Now it turns out that in fact he was," Rubio tweeted.
The school district said an independent firm is reviewing all of Cruz's academic records, something Runcie tweeted about Monday.
"We will continue to provide the best information we have at any point in time. The independent review will be completed in a few weeks & we will share additional information at that time," he said.
The review is expected to be completed in June.