How did Nikolas Cruz rack up twenty-five disciplinary actions in high school without getting a referral to law enforcement? And how did law enforcement in Broward County go through as many as forty-five contacts with Cruz and his family without an arrest that would have appeared on a firearms-purchase background check? The issue is a so-called “Promise” program in Broward County, as Marco Rubio noted in his Senate speech today, but that’s not where it started.
The responsibility, reports Paul Sperry at Real Clear Investigations, falls on the Obama administration’s Department of Education, which attempted to disconnect punishment from crimes committed by students — and turned people like Cruz loose. In 2013, Perry explains, the school district in Broward County rewrote its disciplinary procedures to avoid referrals to law enforcement. Current superintendent Robert Runcie developed the program, and the Department of Education not only endorsed it but made it part of their own policies:
In January 2014, Duncan’s department issued new discipline guidelines strongly recommending that schools use law enforcement measures and out-of-school suspensions as a last resort. Announced jointly by Duncan and then-Attorney General Eric Holder, the new procedures came as more than friendly guidance from Uncle Sam – they also came with threats of federal investigations and defunding for districts that refused to fully comply.
In 2015, the White House spotlighted Runcie’s leading role in the effort during a summit on “Rethinking Discipline.” Broward, the nation’s sixth largest school district, is one of 53 major districts across the country to adopt the federal guidelines, which remain in effect today due to administrative rules delaying a plan by the Trump administration to withdraw them.
Read more at Hot Air.