Q&A – Florida’s Observance Days & Insight Into Schools

Today’s entry - Just in passing. I drove by my neighborhood school in Sunrise. I noticed that the flag was at full staff. I called the office of Dr. Runcie. The lady who answered the phone told me she didn't know if they had received a memo from the Governor.

I didn't know that the School District needed a memo to know it was September 11. Oddly the Parochial School down the street had the flag at half-staff.

Bottom Line: 9/11 is an official day of observance, Patriot Day, not to be confused with Patriot’s Day, honoring American patriots who fought the initial battles of the Revolutionary War. First observed by Presidential Proclamation on September 11th, 2002, has been observed every year since as a day to volunteer and remember. The three calls to action by Americans are: 

  1. Observe a moment of silence at 8:46, the moment of the first attack.
  2. Volunteer to improve the lives of others. Honoring the dedication and sacrifice of first responders.
  3. Remembrance, this is where the Never Forget slogan derives. We're to remember the fallen and to stand united as a nation.

Now, as part of the Patriot Day observance, all flags at the federal level are to be flown at half-staff and all states are called to join in the observance. That's exactly what’s happened in Florida every year since. What’s even more odd about what you were told by the Broward School District is that Governor DeSantis did issue an official proclamation. As part of that proclamation, all government institutions in Florida were directed to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 and to fly flags at half-staff on 9/11. So, what you were told is even more concerning because the School District received the official state proclamation. Part of the reason I wanted to address this is due to the implications.

In the wake of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas, the biggest question of all has been whether the Broward School District has corrected it’s many exposed issues and has the right people in the right places to ensure the safety and education promised to our students and their families. Were this an isolated incident/observation, we might be able to chalk it up to an oversight that’s easily addressed. But here we are with Broward’s School District as the only one that’s non-compliant with school security mandates entering the 2019-2020 school year. It’s perhaps endemic of a clearly bigger trend of details being missed, which sounds familiar to Nikolas Cruz and the Promise Program. It’s worth noting that Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties have also been able to raise academic performance in recent years becoming “A” school districts while Broward has remained a “B”. 

Superintendent Runcie received a 2.8 out of 4 rating for his performance last year. That’s the lowest thus far. The bigger question I have is how he could have received a perfect rating by three board members. It’s clear that whether it’s Patriot Day, school security or academic performance, there's a need for improvement. 

Submit your questions by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

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