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    Broward School Violence: Cruz's Massacre Is Far From Whole Story

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    sinister_midget
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    Broward School Violence: Cruz's Massacre Is Far From Whole Story

    Post  sinister_midget on Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:40 pm

    Broward School Violence: Cruz's Massacre Is Far From Whole Story

    Broward County, Fla., school officials portray as a great success their Obama administration-inspired program offering counseling to students who break the law, instead of having them arrested or expelled. They insist that it played no role in February’s school massacre by Nikolas Cruz. They also claim that in fact juvenile recidivism rates are down and school safety is up, thanks to the program.

    The evidence tells a far different story.

    Broward County juvenile justice division records, federal studies of Broward school district safety and the district's own internal reporting show that years of “intensive" counseling didn’t just fail to reform repeat offender Cruz, who allegedly went on to shoot and kill 17 people at his high school. Records show such policies have failed to curtail other campus violence and its effects now on the rise in district schools — including fighting, weapons use, bullying and related suicides.

    Meanwhile, murders, armed robberies and other violent felonies committed by children outside of schools have hit record levels, and some see a connection with what’s happening on school grounds. Since the relaxing of discipline, Broward youths have not only brazenly punched out their teachers, but terrorized Broward neighborhoods with drive-by shootings, gang rapes, home invasions and carjackings.

    Broward County now has the highest percentage of “the most serious, violent [and] chronic” juvenile offenders in Florida, according to the county’s chief juvenile probation officer.

    Before the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the program’s most supportive community partner – the county sheriff’s office – privately worried that school-based deputies were overlooking increasingly dangerous threats. It warned that violent felons on probation were getting “several chances to reoffend” under the school program and those who put their victims in the hospital after attacking them on school grounds escaped arrest through the program.

    Records also show that Cruz was not the only active-shooter threat in the Broward school system. Since 2015, at least three other pupils have brought loaded firearms into schools and threatened to go on shooting sprees.

    Nevertheless, Broward schools Chief Public Information Officer Tracy Clark denied the district’s reforms have weakened safety. "In fact,” she said, “our district’s overall disciplinary incidents have dropped since we adopted the new policy and wraparound supports to students with behavior issues."

    District officials, however, declined to provide evidence when presented with contrary reporting by RealClearInvestigations.

    The administration has kept a lid on such bad news by suppressing school safety data, including canceling annual surveys of student behavior.

    “Their program is a lie, and it doesn’t work,” said Lowell Levine, a father with grown children whose Stop Bullying Now Foundation in Lake Worth, Fla., has received several dozen complaints during the past few years from parents whose children were repeatedly beaten and bullied by fellow Broward students, who suffered few or no consequences.

    As a result, some parents have sued the school district for failing to protect their children from violent attacks. At least one survivor of the Feb. 14 shooting is filing a lawsuit citing the district’s lax discipline policies.

    Levine said he alerted Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie’s office about the flood of complaints regarding school violence in 2015, two years after its leniency program, called PROMISE, was put into effect. (PROMISE stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education.)

    “But he refused to meet with me,” said Levine, who has been consulting with survivors of the Parkland shooting. “I was told they had it under control and that they didn’t need any outside advice.”

    Runcie’s office did not respond to requests for comment regarding Levine’s claims.

    Runcie and the Broward school board have agreed to hold a www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/fl-florida-school-shooting-arming-employees-20180410-story.html+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">community forum Wednesday to address growing concerns from parents and students about the role the PROMISE program played in the shooting and overall school safety.

    “The PROMISE program has failed us, and discipline hasn’t been allocated the way it should have been,” parent Donald Eckler told the board during a public meeting this month. “We’ve shut off communication between the school board and the police agencies that impact these students.”

    That new discipline policy took effect in 2013. It was at the vanguard of the Obama administration’s efforts to address the “school to prison” pipeline. Beginning in 2009, it opened hundreds of investigations or sued to force districts to adopt lenient discipline guidelines. This push was formalized in a 2014 “Dear Colleague” letter to the nation’s public school superintendents and board members that not only discourages student arrests, but holds districts liable for the actions of school resource officers.

    These programs that are haled as huge successes remind me of what police departments did a few years ago. They decided nationally that violent crime was too high. So they redefined certain crimes such that they'd never, or rarely, be defined as violent. Then they congratulated themselves for reducing violent crime all over the country.

    It's also like automotive safety standards. There were certain minimum requirements and cars got safer. Then it was decided we were going to run out of oil (there are more known reserves today than at any other time in history). And that the planet was going to burn up even if we do have more oil than ever. It was decided fuel reduction had to take precedence. So safety standards were dumbed-down. Now "safety" is most often tested at 5MPH, usually by the manufacturers who still have to cheat and lie to pass the weak standards.

    School "safety" and "anti-bullying" programs work like that. The communist sympathizer, Emma Gonzalez, who hangs with the communist sympathizer, David Hogg, said she and others bullying Cruz for several years. Probably no mention of that anywhere in the school's stellar success records.


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