What do you suppose the overseers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., are trying to hide? We can all guess about why representatives of Broward County Public Schools lied about whether Nikolas Cruz had been part of the Promise program—a disciplinary option that is supposed to be used in lieu of arresting problem students. But now, Superintendent Robert Runcie’s crew is fighting a request to turn over school surveillance video of the Feb. 14 massacre.
Maybe it could be argued that turning over the video is something for the courts to decide, though on the other hand it seems to fly in the face of the state’s Sunshine Law, a collection of laws designed to guarantee public access to public records.
But whether that will hold up in legal circles or not, Runcie seems to be playing a game of CYA in other ways, namely that he has blocked concerned parents of Stoneman Douglas schoolchildren from his Twitter account.
As one parent told a reporter from the Sun Sentinel, “It would appear that the district is more interested in protecting their programs than they are the students and teachers in our schools.”
Not surprisingly, Runcie has denied any intentional stonewalling, explaining away the lack of cooperation by saying that officials are still gathering information. Three months after the fact? Really?
Some people aren’t buying that excuse. One perplexed citizen tweeted: “Seriously @Nora_Rupert @Robin_Bartleman @SBBCBrinkworth @AnnMurrayDist1 @smtravis @britsham What is your Superintendent afraid of? Is he nervous about the truth? He doesn’t respond to e-mails so I only have Twitter. How is it that your Superintendent blocks stakeholders?”
This all postdates the controversy over Sheriff Scott Israel’s hiring practices and the fact that a collection of deputies gave him a vote of no confidence during a union meeting. It also comes after revelations that local and national law enforcement agencies had all but ignored tips from ordinary citizens who voiced concerns about Cruz, saying he had violent tendencies.
Apologies to William Shakespeare, but methinks something is rotten in the state of Florida. Taxpayers are right to be furious—and if they aren’t furious, they should be.