After Cruz report, pressure increases on Broward Schools chief to resign

Runcie didn't do enough to prevent Parkland shooting, some survivors say

PARKLAND, Fla. – Calls for Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie to resign are growing in the wake of an independent report that found the district missed opportunities to help Nikolas Cruz in the years before he opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people.

Royer Borges, whose son, Anthony, was wounded in the shooting, said school officials have not heeded the concerns of the surviving victims and their families.

"The school board and Mr. Runcie need to know they answer to us, not the other way around.  They need to be fired. They need to go," Borges said.

The report found that the district kept close watch and detailed records on Cruz since he was 3 years old. But Cruz was cut off from counseling and other special services in his final two years with the school system.

Some parents of students at Stoneman Douglas have also expressed concerns that a key component of a plan to increase security on the Parkland campus -- metal detectors -- won't be implemented when students return for classes Wednesday.

Borges said his son will not return to Stoneman Douglas as he is not convinced the campus is safe.

"There has been no accountability, no accepting of any responsibility by any person or official on the part of the school district," Borges said. "The Broward School Board have pretty much told us they will run the county school district as they see fit and they don’t care what you or I say."

But Runcie, who has led the district for the past seven years, is not without allies. School board member Rosalind Osgood told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Monday that Runcie has done as well as anyone could do, under the circumstances.

Anthony Borges, who was wounded in the Parkland school shooting, says he won't return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this year.
Anthony Borges, who was wounded in the Parkland school shooting, says he won't return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this year.

While attending an event in Dania Beach Monday, Runcie defended the district's security policies.

"‘The safety measures that we have put in place -- there have been quite a few over the last few months. For some, I get calls of, ‘Hey, this is too much.’ For others, it’s not enough. We’re just going to continue to do what we can,” Runcie said.

Runcie said the district has implemented new security measures countywide, including requiring all students and staff to wear ID badges at all times.

"If you go on any school campus, you’ll will notice the differences,” Runcie said.

Runcie's supporters, who include business and community leaders, plan to hold a news conference on Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale to push back against the superintendent's critics.

And the anger isn't limited to Runcie. Many Parkland survivors have taken issue with comments by school board member Donna Korn who called 2017-2018 school year the district's "best year" despite the mass shooting.

Last week, a number of parents of the victims, including Fred Guttenberg and Tony Montalto, encouraged people to vote for new school board members in the election on Aug. 28. A new school board could decide to replace Runcie.

Two parents of students killed in the Valentine's Day mass shooting, Lori Alhadeff and Ryan Petty, are running for seats on the school board.

Boyes has endorsed Alhadeff and Petty, along with former Stoneman Douglas teacher Richard Mendelson, saying they are "running to change the inept and excuse-ridden Broward County School Board."