What to Know
- A group ranging from county executives, school board members and even members of the state legislature met the media.
- A total of five school board seats are up for grabs during the August 28th primary elections – with the parents of two victims running.
Six months after the worst mass schools shooting in Florida history, supporters of Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie spoke Tuesday amid criticism the district’s leader has received in the wake of the tragedy.
A group ranging from county executives, school board members and even members of the state legislature met the media as a growing chorus of residents – including some families of those hurt or killed during the February 14th shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland – have called for Runcie to lose his job and for several current school board members to be voted out of office.
“When we look at what happened (on Feb. 14th)…to blame Runcie is not fair,” said school board member Dr. Rosalind Osgood.
A total of five school board seats are up for grabs during the August 28th primary elections – with the parents of two victims among those looking to oust incumbents and create a new majority on the board that could vote to fire Runcie and hire a new superintendent.
“We're trying to move as quickly as possible to respond to every need and we don't always get it right. But I will tell you when we find areas we need to make some adjustments, we'll get it fixed,” Runcie said. “What we're going through, nobody is going through with the school system. It's an enormous challenge."
Recently, the father of shooting survivor Anthony Borges issued a statement saying Runcie should lose his job – but while not all of those associated with MSD think that should be the case, frustration grows over the handling of some new policies that include delaying metal detectors from being put in place in time for Wednesday’s first day of school.
"We need leadership that is not affected by what happened and can look clearly and concisely and can set a plan of action for the safety of our kids,” said Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter Jamie in the shooting, during a meeting of the MSD Safety Commission last week.
The district has added school resource officers and armed guards at all 200 schools across the district as well as better security cameras. At Douglas High School, new portables have been put in to replace the building where the shooting took place as well as additional security measures.