The Broward County school superintendent was forced to address recent revelations Monday surrounding Nikolas Cruz’ enrollment in a controversial disciplinary program; saying messy bookkeeping may be responsible for his previous comments that denied the gunman’s involvement in the PROMISE program.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Superintendent Robert Runcie admitted this week that the 19-year-old gunman was indeed admitted to the district’s PROMISE program; a revised set of disciplinary guidelines that effectively shielded troubled students from arrest.
“I don’t think anyone gave me misleading information,” Runcie said. “I gave the best information I had at the time. Maybe I should have qualified it further. That’s a mistake I made. But it was done trying to be as transparent as possible.”
In another interview with the Miami New Times, Runcie blamed the error on messy bookkeeping, saying “It does put a dent in our credibility, but what I’ll say is that what we’re trying to do is balance being as responsive as we can with the information that we have.”
BROWARD BOMBSHELL: Deputy TOLD POLICE to 'STAY AWAY' from High School During Shooting
The disgraced Sheriff’s Deputy who maintained a “defensive position” and refused to enter the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during last month’s mass shooting reportedly told fellow officers to “stay away” from the building; instructing them to remain at least 500 feet back as people lay dying.
According to the Miami Herald, Deputy Scot Peterson told the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, “Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away.” Newly released audiotape of police scanners confirm Peterson’s comments; with screams heard in the background as the shooting unfolded.
The records confirm Peterson was well aware that the incident was occurring inside the building; directly refuting his claims he believed the gunman was last seen near the football field.
“It certainly backs up that he never went into the school,” said the president of the Broward County Sheriff’s police union. “At one point he says to keep back 500 feet. Why would he say that?”
Peterson became the center of a media firestorm after reports emerged he refused to enter the building as the carnage unfolded; allowing 19-year old Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 people and injure dozens more without confrontation.
BROWARD BOMBSHELL: Shooter 'Assigned' to Controversial ‘Disciplinary’ Program
The lone gunman behind the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was assigned to a controversial “disciplinary” program that blocked troubled students from being arrested, reports the National Review.
Broward county school officials have now confirmed that 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was assigned to the PROMISE program after repeated run-ins with local authorities and administrators.
“The program was intended to thin out the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ by providing counseling and other therapy for students who committed any on a list of 13 misdemeanors,” writes the Review. “However, critics have lambasted PROMISE since the shooting, saying it encouraged school officials to turn a blind eye to students who committed felonies.”
Despite denying Cruz’s connection to the program in the past, Broward administrations now admit the gunman was assigned a three-day course with PROMISE after he was caught vandalizing a school bathroom in 2013.
It remains unclear if he ever attended the program.
“You failed us students, teachers and parents alike on so many levels,” said one student now suing the district. “I want to ask you today to please end your policy and agreement that you will not arrest people committing crimes in our schools.”