The shooting in Parkland, Florida, was horrendous. There have been a lot of people placing blame all over the place for that shooting. I am not interested in getting into a blame game, but I think we need to look at a series of decisions over the past five years that created the environment for the shooting to take place.
The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about some decisions made during the past five years that explain some of the mistakes made in assessing the threat this student posed and dealing with that threat.
The article reports a conversation that took place on the Laura Ingraham show:
Within the conversation Mr. Bell (Broward County Sheriff Union President Jeff Bell) points to the 2013 Broward County School Board policy known as the “Promise Program“. The Promise Program is the collaborative policy between all county officials the school superintendent, school board and law enforcement that instructs officers to not arrest high school students.
This policy sits at the center of understanding why Nikolas Cruz was not intercepted by law enforcement.
A Broward County School Police Officer must: carry a political hat and be able to intercept anti-social behavior (ie. filter through “The Promise Program“); modify his/her action based on the specific policy need (no arrests); falsify documents (as needed), hide evidence (as needed), manipulate records (as needed); and engage inside the system with an understanding of the unwritten goals and school board/LEO objectives (improve stats).
As such, Broward County school law enforcement are given political instructions, and carrying out political objectives. The 30 minute CCTV tape-delay is one unofficial consequence of that objective. School police are not given law-enforcement instructions.
This is political correctness run amok. If the statistics are kept under control, the school looks good. Meanwhile, the safety of the students is not a consideration.
Before we totally dismiss those responsible for The Promise Program as idiots, we need to look at what was reported by the media in the early days of the program.
On November 2, 2013, The Sun Sentinel reported:
Just two years ago, Broward County schools funneled the state’s highest number of students into the juvenile justice system, often hauling them away in handcuffs for minor infractions.
But the district this year dramatically altered its discipline policies and launched an intervention program to reduce the number of arrests for non-violent offenses. It’s already seeing results.
The number of students arrested for misdemeanor incidents from August to September dropped to 22 students from 54 in the same period last year, district figures show.
“We need to give students an opportunity if they make mistakes,” Superintendent Robert Runcie said.
On Tuesday, members of law enforcement, the public defender’s office, the NAACP, the state Department of Juvenile Justice and the State Attorney’s Office will join the School Board to sign an agreement to reduce school-based arrests.
It’ll be the first such agreement in the state.
“Unless we put in appropriate interventions to help these students address their behavior and get back on track, then as an institution, we fail,” Runcie said.
Essentially they didn’t stop the crimes–they just stopped arresting the students who broke the law and avoided letting them face the consequences of their actions. That’s not a great way to prepare students for a successful life. The media thought the program was wonderful and published a glowing report of it. So much for the wisdom of the media.
This is the place where common sense seems to have left our educational system. We need to go back to the days of winning and losing and facing the consequences of your choices. It’s time to put sensible people on our school boards to bring about the necessary changes that will make our schools safer.