PARKLAND, FL - At Tuesday's regular School Board Meeting, Superintendent Robert Runcie provided an update regarding school safety measures and other matters since the February 14 tragedy.
"I think it’s important for all of us to remember that Nikolas Cruz is responsible for this tragedy. This level of violence is a national problem that school districts across the country are dealing with. Now is the time for us to all come together and stay focused on finding solutions. We are committed to making this system better," said Runcie
Superintendent Runcie recommended and the School Board approved April Schentrup’s new role as the task-assigned Director, School Safety and Security. The responsibilities include:
- Helping to implement updated safety and security measures, policies and procedures;
- Working with the District’s Internal Auditor to build a new audit program for school-level compliance with student code of conduct/discipline policy;
- Conducting school safety and security compliance visits and reviews;
- Serving as a liaison and district representative for external task forces and work groups focused on school safety and security;
- Assisting in developing applications for grants and third party funding for safety and security measures; and
- Assisting the Superintendent in communications efforts with schools and the community on safety and security topics; and
- Reporting safety and security concerns and issues to the Superintendent for follow up.
“I welcome April’s experience and insights as a school principal. Her perspective and voice will help inform and advise our efforts to make our schools safer. I share her passion and dedication for doing everything we can to improve our policies, procedures and systems,” said Runcie
Runcie said the District requested an independent review of the collaborative services associated with Cruz and his time in the District since early childhood and he had committed to making the report public in June 2018. However, he reported that the District’s first attempt to release the report last week was blocked by Cruz’s lawyers.
He said the District’s legal team made a second attempt by asking the courts for guidance on how to release this report but Cruz’s lawyers are again attempting to block the District from releasing the report. He said the District’s legal team continues to push for a quick resolution in order to make this report public.
The superintendent said other reviews in process include:
A state audit of the District’s reporting of violations of the law or conduct breaches, has verified no systemic reporting issues exist. However, the District is reviewing a few anomalies that were identified and is assessing how to resolve those.
SECURITY AND SAFETY PRACTICES AND PROTOCOLS
The District engaged Safe Havens International, Inc. (Safe Havens) to provide independent security and risk assessment consultant services for Broward County Public Schools. The consultants will also review safety and security protocols, which includes the roles of campus monitors, school safety officers, security specialists and the School Resource Officer program.
DISCIPLINE RECORDS REVIEW
This is to ensure that, across the District, staff is consistent and in compliance with protocols and policies for managing student disciplinary incidents. When the 2018/19 school year begins, school audits will now include a review of compliance with our student code of conduct and discipline policies.
POST RESPONSE REVIEW
The District is in the process of assessing how the school administration, safety staff and faculty responded during and after this tragedy.
The State Attorney’s Office will not allow the District to view video recorded by our system of the incident, which we need to see in order to determine what took place with the safety and security staff on the campus.
Legal counsel continues to seek the release of this video so that we can move forward with our internal reviews."