Robert Runcie Wiki – Robert Runcie Biography
Robert 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 a 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.
Robert Runcie Age
Robert Runcie is 59 years old.
Arrested – Charges
Runcie, 59, was arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on a felony charge of perjury in an official proceeding, Broward County jail records showed. Runcie was booked into jail and released on his own recognizance. Attorney information wasn’t available.
FDLE officials said the charge against Runcie is related to his testimony before a statewide grand jury that was empaneled to investigate possible failures in following school-related safety laws and mismanaging funds solicited for school safety initiatives.
The grand jury was empaneled following Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that took the lives of 17 students and staff. FDLE officials said Broward County School Board General Counsel Barbara Myrick was also arrested Wednesday as part of the investigation.
Myrick, 72, is charged with unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings, also a felony. She was also booked into jail and released. Broward School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood released a statement after Wednesday’s arrests.
“In response to today’s events, the School Board of Broward County, Florida (SBBC) will provide transparency, accountability and integrity as we continue to focus on delivering the highest quality educational experience for our students, teachers and staff,” Osgood’s statement read. “As legal processes continue, the School District will operate as normal under the District Leadership Team.”
Runcie came into the national spotlight after the Parkland shooting when some parents criticized him for programs they felt had been lenient toward the shooter.
Runcie, by a 6-3 vote, survived a 2019 motion by the school board that sought to have him removed. The attempt was led by Lori Alhadef, who was elected to the board after her 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, was killed in the shooting.
The superintendent’s critics said bullying and other school problems were routinely underreported by Stoneman Douglas and other district schools and few did voluntary security assessments. Stoneman Douglas reported zero incidents of bullying among its 3,200 students between 2014 and 2017 and three incidents of vandalism, for example.
Another target of criticism has been the district’s Promise Program, a student disciplinary system Runcie instituted shortly after he began as superintendent in 2011. Under Promise, students who fight or commit petty vandalism, theft, harassment or other minor crimes, are referred to an off-campus site for up to 10 days instead of the courts.
Critics say Promise created a lenient atmosphere that allowed shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz to briefly attend Stoneman Douglas a year before the massacre despite a history of fights, threats, and behavioral problems. The district says while the program needed changes, it was a success overall.
Runcie’s supporters have praised him for increasing the district’s graduation rate, improving schools districtwide, and reaching out to minority communities.
Tony Montalto, president of the group that represents Marjory Stoneman Douglas victims’ families, said Wednesday he is “thankful” that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the grand jury investigation into the district and its handling of the massacre.
“It is important that we get the facts about what happened and then hold those responsible accountable and implement positive change,” said Montalto, whose 14-year-old daughter Gina died in the shooting.