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Back on February 14, violent criminal Nikolas Cruz opened fire in a Broward County, Florida, high school, killing 17 students and wounding another 17. Superintendent Robert Runcie said this deliberate mass murder was an “accident,” and denied that Cruz had any connection with PROMISE, the “Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education,” program that looks the other way when students commit crimes worthy of arrest.
Runcie attacked critics of the program and said it was “fake news” that Cruz was part of it. Then, on Sunday the Broward District acknowledged that Cruz had been part of PROMISE since 2013.
He was not arrested and therefore able to procure firearms. He talked up his desire to kill students, but the FBI, which excels at handcuffing lawyer’s wives at three in the morning, ignored numerous tips. Local cops followed Sir Robin’s call to “run away,” enabling Cruz to kill 17 students. In a tweet Ryan Petty, father of slain student Alaina Petty, called it “a stunning revelation & one that flies in the face of previous statements.” Coupled with the description of mass murder as an “accident,” parents would be hard pressed to find a more clear example of abuse, and a costly one at that. Last year Runcie bagged a $28,000 raise boosting his salary to $335,000 and keeping him aboard until 2023.
The PROMISE program maintains that differential rates of school discipline can only be explained by racism. That is not true, and as Thomas Sowell often pointed out, statistical disparities between groups are the rule rather than the exception. Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute is right that schools should dump PROMISE and similar programs that put political correctness over truth, safety and sanity. The Trump administration would be wise to pursue full parental choice in education as a matter of basic civil rights, but so far has showed little inclination to do so.