Broward County

DeSantis says he probably can’t suspend Runcie but looks at ‘options’ for school board

Broward schools chief faces Parkland massacre commission

Scot Peterson, former SRO at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, did not show up at the MSD Public Safety Commission in November 2018, however, his attorney addressed the Commission while Superintendent Robert Runcie gave a personal apology to parents.
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Scot Peterson, former SRO at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, did not show up at the MSD Public Safety Commission in November 2018, however, his attorney addressed the Commission while Superintendent Robert Runcie gave a personal apology to parents.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that based on legal advice he’s received, he does not feel confident he can suspend Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, who has come under intense fire for the way his district handled the Parkland shooting and the confessed shooter, Nikolas Cruz, a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“This came up during the campaign. I went back and actually looked at the statute and it seemed pretty clear to me that the statute applied to county-wide elected officials and that it didn’t apply, on its face, to appointed officials,” DeSantis told reporters at the Associated Press’ annual AP Day in the Capitol.

“The balance of the advice I’ve gotten since then has said that that’s probably the way to do it.” DeSantis did say that he is looking at other “options” related to the School Board of Broward County and that he would come to a decision on that in the next two or three weeks.

“If you talk to those Parkland parents, I think they’re frustrated not just with the superintendent but also with the school board. It seems there’s something every day where someone is not being listened to or whatever,” DeSantis said. “There may be options where we can look at accountability there but I think it will be different than me saying, ‘The superintendent is out’ or whoever is out.”

Runcie did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Andrew Pollack, the father of murdered Parkland student Meadow Pollack, said he’s hopeful that DeSantis can put pressure on Broward’s school board members to remove Runcie or face suspension from office.

Pollack and several other Parkland families have repeatedly called for Runcie’s ouster, and he said the fact the board hasn’t removed Runcie yet is “despicable.”

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