Should Robert Runcie be fired as Broward County Public Schools superintendent?
Parkland families call for Runcie's removal
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie is not only fighting for his reputation, but he's trying to keep his job amid a growing wave of scrutiny, as proven earlier this week in a public confrontation with a grieving Parkland parent.
"Why should you stay in your job?" asked Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime, was killed in last year's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "This community right now is struggling with what has gone on over the past year."
"Leadership is not about, in my view, about cutting and running when it gets really tough," Runcie said. "Given the fact that this occurred under my watch as superintendent, I need to fix it."
In the one year since the massacre at Stoneman Douglas, Runcie has been criticized for not moving quickly enough to fix security flaws district-wide and for a series of failed communication issues.
"Some of the things that have happened in our district have been good things, but the sense of urgency and the need to make things better has not been happening here," said Debbie Hixon, whose husband, Chris, was killed in the shooting.
Recently-elected school board member Lori Alhadeff, who lost her daughter, Alyssa, at Stoneman Douglas, has called for a vote to fire Runcie at the board’s next meeting.
"The urgency to do this now is because the district is spiraling out of control," she said in a statement. "Mr. Runcie has demonstrated a history of poor leadership. As board members, we need to be accountable to the public. I am bringing it forward regardless if I have five votes or not."
As of Wednesday, the nine member board is divided over his leadership.
Rosalind Osgood, Laurie Rich Levinson and Ann Murray have all publicly praised some of Runcie’s accomplishments. So have board members Donna Korn and Patti Good.
But Alhadeff and Nora Rupert have both called for Runcie’s resignation and Robin Bartleman gave the superintendent a scathing performance review last year.
Board Chair Heather Brinkworth has also been vocal about Runcie's failures as superintendent.
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