I read the Real Clear Investigations article in Miguel’s post and picked up on something much scarier than the predicable outcome of the blue wall of silence and corrupt, self serving bureaucracy.
There will me more shootings in Broward County Schools.
The 2013 agreement, known generally as the PROMISE program, was designed to reduce school-based arrests for minor offenses and stop the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline” disproportionately affecting minorities.
“We can only measure our success by the kids we keep out of jail, not the kids we put in jail,” Sheriff Israel said at the November 2013 signing ceremony. “Our kids need to be in schools, not jails.”
That right there is the problem. Using that metric, the most successful they could be is if they didn’t put a single student in jail. That’s an easy success to attain, just don’t arrest an students, regardless of the crimes committed.
Despite misgivings expressed by police and prosecutors behind closed doors, as student arrests plummeted in 2016, Israel boasted, “We have drastically cut down on juvenile arrests” by giving school criminals who under previous rules would have been arrested “second, third chances.”
This is a common tactic used by corrupt law enforcement in single party politics towns. New York City is notorious for this.
Anybody who has followed this blog for a while knows we have covered the abuse of gravity knife laws in New York City, where the police regularly arrest workmen, electricians, general contractors, and laborers for carrying the kinds of lock back pocketknives working people carry for work (even box cutters) as a way to boost arrest numbers and generate revenue from fines making it look like they are taking violent criminals off the streets but are really just harassing blue collar New Yorkers who don’t have the money to hire a lawyer and sue.
All told, “BCPS documented nearly 70 incidents involving Cruz in its incident computer system,” according to a draft report of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission. “BCPS disciplinary referral system also contained nearly 55 school incidents involving Cruz.”
“Administrators were made aware of multiple felonies — including death threats and weapons possession – but they did nothing about it because of the discipline policies,” Manhattan Institute senior fellow Max Eden told RealClearInvestigations. Eden has co-authored a forthcoming book on the tragedy, “Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies that Created the Parkland Shooter and Endangered America’s Students.”
Cruz kept getting breaks under the PROMISE program (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Support & Education). It allowed even chronic offenders, including Cruz, to “reset” their discipline records to zero infractions at the end of each school year, making them appear like first-time offenders.
And until 17 kids were killed, this was all gravy for the school district and Sheriff’s Office. The looked good on paper, got raises, promotions, and reelected.
The embattled Sheriff Israel, who has been the subject of no fewer than 10 formal complaints (mostly involving public charges of excessive use of police force, all dismissed), has come under mounting pressure to resign. His critics include not only parents whose children were killed but the police union that represents Broward’s 1,400 deputies, as well as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association has formally called for his resignation.
Even longtime boosters in the local media have turned against him.
But he knows that the majority of people in Broward would rather get shot than vote Republican, so unless the Governor unseats him, he’ll get reelected again. That’s one party politics for you.
Israel, who after the school massacre touted his own “amazing leadership,” said he has “no plans to resign.” Elected to a second term in 2016, Israel has been called the most powerful Democrat in Florida’s most Democratic county. He plans to run for another four-year term, but he may not make it to the 2020 election. It’s widely believed that Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis, a Republican, will remove Israel from office after the Jan. 8 inauguration and before the anniversary of the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland.
What did I just say.
I doubt DeSantis will remove Sheriff Israel from his office. All that will do is give the Broward Democrats a martyr. They can’t admit to his failures so they will say the removal is a political witch hunt. Maybe I am being an asshole but the people of Broward should have the option of voting him out of office. If they don’t, whatever happens next is all on them.
As Runcie pioneered the most lenient discipline policies in the nation, the administration pumped millions of dollars in education grants into his district. More than 50 other large school districts adopted similar programs as the administration opened race-bias investigations and threatened funding cuts for those who failed to comply with the lower disciplinary standards.
When success is measured by kids not in jail and not a decrease in crime in school, it pays to turn a blind eye to problems and avoid arresting kids for petty things like… attempted forcible sodomy with a foreign object.
Last month, the Trump administration revoked the Obama policy, formalized in a January 2014 guidance letter to all public school districts, arguing it has led to increased violence in schools.
Boy howdy, has it done that.
The Florida state safety commission’s draft report also revealed that the Broward district has been systematically underreporting crimes committed on campus since revising its discipline policies, helping it appear that the PROMISE program and its required “restorative justice” counseling sessions were working to reduce the number of students who reoffend and control overall crime on campus.
A bureaucracy lying on paper to get more money, say it isn’t so.
Officials at Stoneman Douglas, for example, failed to report dozens of instances of violence, bullying, theft, robbery and trespassing in the 2016-2017 school year, making the school look much safer than it was prior to the shooting.
And you wondered how a kid with a rifle could walk past so many people who failed to call a code red. Not a single one of those coaches, teachers, or hall monitors wanted to be the asshole who risked a school pay increase by having a recordable arrest on campus.
This is the law of perverse incentive. The school was breeding cobras for money and 17 kids got bit.
New Renaissance Middle School in Miramar, Fla., reported no cases of bullying in 2015-2016, even though coed Jayla Cofer successfully sued Broward schools in 2016 after she was sent to the emergency room by a gang of violent girls, none of whom was arrested. Her attackers were d diverted to the PROMISE program, where they received counseling.
My cousin worked as a career counselor in Broward public schools. She left the school system and now does the same thing for incoming freshmen at the local community college. She could tell you stories that would make your hair stand on end about the beatings that occurred in the schools. It was not uncommon for teachers to get beaten by students with the students knowing that at worst, they would get an in-school suspension.
This from November of 2018:
A teacher at a Broward County high school says he was left badly bruised after a student attacked him with a desk during class.
“He took the desk, raised it over his head, completely over his head and then threw it at me,” Lipscomb said in an exclusive interview with NBC 6. “Damaged the ceiling above me, struck me in the leg, in the thigh, caused me to fall down and injure my other leg as well.”
“He threw another desk before I was able to go and just restrain him until security came,” Lipscomb said.
n a statement Friday, the school district said they take all matters involving student and staff safety seriously and that school administration and the school resource officer responded to the incident immediately and followed all proper protocols.
“The student involved was removed from the classroom and taken into custody by law enforcement. The teacher was also immediately relieved from the classroom and advised to seek medical attention,” the district’s statement read, in part. “The administration reported the incident to the District’s Risk Management Department. The student involved in this incident is receiving the appropriate school disciplinary measures in accordance with the District’s Code Book for Student Conduct.“
All the kid did was throw a couple of desks at a teacher, disabling him. It’s not like it’s assault with a deadly weapon… oh yeah, it is. Have no fear, the student will get a whole hour’s worth of detention to teach him not to throw furniture at a teacher.
Now back to the RCI report.
Arreaza charged in a complaint filed Dec. 21 in Broward County court that school officials have pressured teachers and staff not to report crimes committed by students like Cruz.
It’s just a kid walking around campus with a rifle, no reason to call that in and ruin a good thing for everyone.
In an interview with RealClearInvestigations, he said they also routinely pressured Peterson and other school resource officers to “downgrade” serious crimes, including violent felonies.
When you make it a choice between potentially saving lives and guaranteeing a good pension, the pension wins out and 17 kids get killed.
Just weeks before the Stoneman Douglas massacre, for example, a sophomore band member at the high school was violently attacked by another student, Arreaza said. The assailant broke his nose, but he wasn’t arrested for assault. Instead, school officials assigned him to a diversionary program where he received counseling.
“The crime was actually an aggravated assault, which is a felony, but it was reduced to a misdemeanor,” said Arreaza, who represents the victim. When the boy’s parents complained, “Deputy Peterson told the parents he isn’t allowed to arrest anyone.”
Why is he even there?
Other sources confirmed that arrests are discouraged across the board by the administration.
But the numbers they send to Washington look great!
One longtime deputy assigned to Broward schools, who insisted on anonymity, said that a top official in the superintendent’s office “asked us not to arrest students for felonies in addition to misdemeanors,” even though the 2013 agreement explicitly emphasized that police had final discretion and that felonies would not qualify under the no-arrest plan.
There was nothing they couldn’t sweep under the rug for money until 17 kids were killed in a mass shooting.
Within two years of adopting the discipline reforms, Broward’s juvenile recidivism rate surged higher than the Florida state average. The negative trends continued through 2017, the most recent juvenile crime data show.
Who, with a brain not rotted by Progressivism and the Iron Law of Bureaucracy, didn’t see this coming?
Cruz wasn’t the only dangerous threat who avoided referral to the juvenile justice system.
The district also previously diverted other boys, who brought guns to school and threatened to go on shooting rampages, from the criminal justice system and into alternative programs. In October 2016, for instance, a would-be teen shooter at Coral Springs High School was sent to counseling and was not charged with a crime.
There will be more shootings in Broward.
Nobody who created the situation that facilitated Cruz’s rampage has been fired. Most still have their jobs. They can’t admit that they were wrong at the very core, which is the problem. They might make minor reforms but the essential failures will still be there.
The safety commission found that Broward public schools average two threat assessments per day. In just the first half of 2018, the district had completed approximately 390 behavioral threat assessments.
Broward County parents should just pull their kids out of the public school system and send them to private schools or home school them.
More deaths will happen because it is in the financial interests of the school administration and Sheriff’s Office to continue to put in place policies that make it easier for deaths to happen.
This is happening all over the country.
Every time a cop turns a blind eye to some junkie shooting up or shitting on the streets of San Francisco or in a park in Brooklyn they make the city more dangerous. Ever time a cop is told not to arrest a guy who just smashed his way into a tourists car because a broken window is not sufficient evidence for a felony charge, they make the city more dangerous. Every time Portland, Berkeley, or Seattle police pull back when Antifa control the streets and hit people with bike locks, they make the cities more dangerous.
Every time school administrators and SRO’s send a kid who takes a gun to school or caves in the face of another student to a counselor instead of a jail cell, they make the school more dangerous.
This attitude is a breeding ground for the worst kind of criminally.
Until the people who think this way are out of office, the risk that there will be more blood is all too real.