Who is Robert Runcie? Broward Schools Superintendent arrested on charge of perjury over Parkland shooting
BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: Robert Runcie, the Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, was arrested on Wednesday, April 21 morning on the charge of perjury during an official proceeding. According to Local 10, Runcie was arrested and taken into custody by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The exact details about the perjury have not been revealed. However, his indictment showed that he perjured himself by lying under oath between March 31 and April 1, while he was testifying to a state grand jury.
Runcie was arrested along with School Board attorney Barbara Myrick, who is facing the charge of unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings. Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack who lost her life in the 2018 Parkland shooting, welcomed the decision of Runcie's arrest saying, "His failed leadership lead to the murder of my daughter Meadow and 16 other innocent lives. I will never stop fighting until they get the justice they deserve."
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Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie was arrested this morning.— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) April 21, 2021
His failed leadership lead to the murder of my daughter Meadow and 16 other innocent lives.
I will never stop fighting until they get the justice they deserve. #FixIt
Who is Robert Runcie?
Runcie was released from Broward County Main Jail on his own recognizance. The 59-year-old reportedly committed perjury at his testimony, during the investigation of possible failures in school safety laws and mismanagement of funds for safety initiatives in school. Runcie had been associated with Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) since 2011, which is the sixth-largest public school system in the US. Prior to joining BCPS, Runcie worked as a Chief Administrative Officer for Chicago Public Schools.
He came under fire in 2018 following the Parkland shooting which claimed the lives of 17 students and school staff at Stoneman Douglas High School. At that time, some parents of the victims criticized his policies and programs which they felt were lenient towards the shooter.
Born in Jamaica, Runcie had migrated to the US as a young boy. He graduated from Harvard University, being the first among his family members to attend college. He kicked off his career as a founder of a management and technology consulting company. However, he later shifted his focus towards academia as he joined Chicago Public Schools. He was appointed in various strategic roles at CPS. He became the 20th Superintendent at BCPS in 2011.
Programs implemented by Runcie like the district's Promise Program had been accused of lenient atmosphere that facilitated the shooter. Though the district's graduation rate increased under Runcie, he was held responsible for underreported incidents of bullying at Stoneman Douglas.
Runcie’s indictment says he gave untruthful testimony before the grand jury, and it lists four areas the panel was focusing on:
1. Whether refusal or failure to follow the mandates of school-related safety laws, such as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act, results in unnecessary and avoidable risk to students across the state.
2. Whether public entities committed — and continue to commit — fraud and deceit by accepting state funds conditioned on implementation of certain safety measures while knowingly failing to act.
3. Whether school officials committed — and continue to commit — fraud and deceit by mismanaging, failing to use, and diverting funds from multimillion-dollar bonds specifically solicited for school safety initiatives.
4. Whether school officials violated and continue to violate state law by systematically underreporting incidents of criminal activity to the Department of Education.
Runcie responsible for lack of security
Runcie's arrest stirred a conversation on Twitter as most users held him responsible for the lack of security during the Parkland shooting. Some even compared Runcie with former president Donald Trump, demanding the arrest of the latter on felony perjury charges.
"If Robert Runcie broke the law, I’m glad he was arrested. Now, let’s get the former guy." a user tweeted. "I’m asking everyone who follows me to share this story. Three years ago a monster killed 17 people at my High School. Local officials’ corruption allowed it to happen. Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie arrested on a perjury charge. Justice," wrote a user. Another tweeted, "Yep - a country where actual law breakers are held accountable, regardless of skin color. Justice - served. Robert Runcie deserves everything he has coming to him for helping the murderer kill those schoolkids."
"Money earmarked for "School Safety" not used as directed? Does this mean State $$ money was not shoveled to police? Was it pilfered or used for education or related facilities?"
If Robert Runcie broke the law, I’m glad he was arrested.— Monsieur Cadieux (@imaf_inggeek) April 21, 2021
Now, let’s get the former guy.
I’m asking everyone who follows me to share this story.— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) April 21, 2021
Three years ago a monster killed 17 people at my High School.
Local officials’ corruption allowed it to happen.
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie arrested on a perjury charge. Justice.
Yep - a country where actual law breakers are held accountable, regardless of skin color.— Rick Canton 🕥 (@rick_canton) April 21, 2021
Justice - served. Robert Runcie deserves everything he has coming to him for helping the murderer kill those schoolkids.
These remarks were made by the Internet and individual organizations, MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and nor does it support these claims being made on the Internet.