Three years after what happened in Parkland and we’re still debating what failures led to the deadly shooting. For gun-control advocates, the failure is simply a matter of people being able to buy scary-looking guns.
For those of us looking for real solutions rather than simply using the bodies of dead children as a soapbox, there’s a lot more to the picture. The shooter should have been arrested at numerous points for his actions regarding domestic violence against his own mother, charges that would have barred him from ever owning a firearm in the first place.
However, there are factors and failures well beyond that, and one school board member claims she was intimidated into keeping quiet about them.
School board member Nora Rupert admitted in a deposition that internal corruption led to safety failures that contributed to the death of students and teachers. When she tried to speak up about these failures, she claimed that she was met with an intimidation campaign from other board members and the district’s superintendent, Robert Runcie.
In comes Kenny Preston. A young, student journalist who reviewed the documents from Florida TaxWatch and wrote a report to share with the victims’ families and present to the school board. He believed if safety measures had been put in place and the school actually used SMART bond funding, fewer students would have been killed.
During his research process, Preston also came across a discipline matrix problem in Florida schools that became mandated at the behest of the Obama administration’s “restorative justice” policies. This policy was championed by Runcie, so Preston spoke with school board chairwoman Nora Rupert — Runcie’s most vocal critic.
Rupert confirmed to Preston that under the current discipline matrix, school administrators were not required to refer students to law enforcement for felonies. Preston thought this may have contributed to the shooter’s ability to bypass criminal punishment for earlier offenses, so he included Rupert’s comments in his report.
Preston presented his findings on the SMART bond and the discipline matrix during a school board meeting on April 10, 2018. In the meeting, Rupert disavowed her comments and claimed that she had never spoken with Preston.
“[Any quotation] would be from a public meeting,” Rupert said. “My record stands on its own, and I usually don’t comment on misinformation… it’s very hurtful… I really can’t excuse people using quotes for political gain.”
In a 2019 deposition obtained by The Daily Wire, Rupert admitted that Preston’s report was correct and that corruption led to delayed safety measures that could have saved lives.
Let that sink in for just a moment.
Not just did corruption lead to the gunman not having been charged for potential felonies within the school, but then it led to a coverup and an accusation against a student journalist that he falsified quotes.
I’m sorry, but that’s some weapons-grade wrong there.
Now, I’m not sure how an elected official is being bullied and intimidated by a superintended who ostensibly works for the school board, but that’s something for the voters of Broward County to deal with, if they care to.
What matters to me is that these failures directly contributed to a school shooting, one where absolutely every piece of evidence we’ve seen suggests this individual who slaughtered innocent teens was enabled despite every warning sign imaginable. Then, rather than own up to the mistakes, school officials tried to cover them up and make the teen journalist who uncovered them look like a liar.
No, this is a time for proverbial heads on platters.
But not just will that not happen, this incident is still being used to justify gun control despite literally everything else that contributed to the shooting.
Par for the course, though, right?