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Runcie recommends independent review regarding Parkland shooter

During the Tuesday, March 6, Broward County School Board meeting, Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Robert W. Runcie recommended a comprehensive, independent review of Nikolas Cruz educational record and the academic, social and emotional services Cruz received. 

Following the meeting Runcie issued the following statement:

“Across our District, we continue to focus on supporting our students, families, staff and the entire Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community, as we work to recover from the unbelievable tragedy on February 14, 2018.

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Our hearts remain broken, as we find ourselves at the center of enormous loss and heartbreak. The ability to move forward in the aftermath of a horrific attack on our school community depends on the steps we take now to understand the conditions that may have led to this tragedy. A quest for such understanding must be done with both transparency and a sense of urgency.

This is consistent with one of our three strategic pillars, Continuous Improvement, where we strive to improve the delivery of services and achieve best in class outcomes for our children and community.

I am, therefore, recommending a comprehensive review of the educational journey of the individual charged with this horrific act of violence. 

After consulting with our District’s legal counsel, the state attorney and representatives of the Florida Department of Education and its Inspector General’s Office, I am proposing that the Collaborative Education Network, Inc., is the agency best positioned to conduct an independent review that includes:

A thorough review of the student’s academic records.

Identification and review of the academic, social and emotional services provided to Nikolas Cruz during the time he was enrolled in Broward County Public Schools.

On-site interviews with BPCS staff and agency partners, who provided academic and support services to the student.

A review of policies and procedures in place during the student’s academic journey.

It is reasonable to assume that the complexity of such an independent study may require a review of related documents and resources outside the realm of the services provided by BCPS.

The review will start no later than March 6, 2018, and conclude by June 2018, with a final report of findings and recommendations.

The proposed cost of the review, estimated to take between six to eight weeks to complete, is $60,000.

While we cannot undo this heartbreaking attack on our school community on February 14, we can and must do what we can to understand the conditions that lead to such acts, in hopes of avoiding them here and elsewhere.”

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