MSD Parents Blast Broward School Board For Indecisiveness

The parents of students killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February are slamming the Broward County School Board for what they called a lack of decisiveness in the months since the attack.

On the other hand, MSD parents have declined to call for the resignation Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.

On Thursday afternoon, the group criticized the nine-member school board for making decisions and then “unmaking” them, citing the following reversals:

  • The board plan to install metal detectors at the Parkland high school
    • Runcie wrote a letter to parents last week saying there were too many complications to install the metal detectors, including expected long lines and staffing problems
  • Hiring a retired Secret Service agent to investigate administrative decisions that may have led to the killing
    • That plan was withdrawn last month because Runcie said the work might duplicate that of the state’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission

“We have focused on the issues, but the School Board has not provided answers,” Tony Montalto, whose daughter, Gina, was among those killed, said on Thursday. “Where is the accountability?”

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jaime, was killed, called a recent school board meeting a “mockery” for its arguments among board members. “They blame each other for decisions that are made and unmade,” he added.

The parents are urging Broward residents to vote for their slate of candidates in the Aug. 28 primary. 

Five of nine school board seats are up for election, and the parents have endorsed candidates. Two parents whose children died, Lori Alhadeff and Ryan Petty, are among the candidates running for the board.

But the parents declined to call for the resignation of Runcie, whom many residents have faulted for mistakes made since the killings.

Thursday’s news conference took place at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, where the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission is meeting to investigate the shootings and come up with proposals for improving school safety.

The commission is composed of law enforcement officers, public officials and parents of children killed in the attack.

School board members have emphasized their efforts to improve school security amid the broader context of 234 schools in the district that also need attention.


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