In the weeks since 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County Florida, discussion, rather political mudslinging, has dominated news cycles. Talks of “common sense gun control,” a point which comes up less than 24 hours after every single shooting in America, have gone no where – like they usually do. However, the origin behind this occurrence may not be access to firearms, but a little known thing called the “Promise Program.”
The expansion of background checks, the prohibition of assault-style rifles, arming teachers, and even raising the age to buy firearms have been the topics of contentious discussion in state legislatures and within the halls of Congress. Liberals claim if the Broward County shooter had not gained access to firearms, then the killing may not have commenced.
However, fellow students who knew the shooter claim they saw this coming. They claimed what he did was an obvious end to his “crazed” lifestyle and rhetoric.
In a report from Conservative Treehouse, the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had the tell-tale signs of a troubled individual for years.
“Feb. 5, 2016: A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy is told by an anonymous caller that Nikolas Cruz, then 17, had threatened on Instagram to shoot up his school and posted a photo of himself with guns. The information is forwarded to BSO Deputy Scot Peterson, a school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Sept. 23, 2016: A ‘peer counselor’ reports to Peterson that Cruz had possibly ingested gasoline in a suicide attempt, was cutting himself and wanted to buy a gun. A mental health counselor advises against involuntarily committing Cruz. The high school says it will conduct a threat assessment.
Sept. 28, 2016: An investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families rules Cruz is stable, despite ‘fresh cuts’ on his arms. His mother, Lynda Cruz, says in the past he wrote a racial slur against African Americans on his book bag and had recently talked of buying firearms.
Sept. 24, 2017: A YouTube user named ‘nikolas cruz’ posts a comment stating he wants to become a ‘professional school shooter.’ The comment is reported to the FBI in Mississippi, which fails to make the connection to Cruz in South Florida.
Nov. 1, 2017: Katherine Blaine, Lynda Cruz’s cousin, calls BSO to report that Nikolas Cruz had weapons and asks that police recover them. A ‘close family friend’ agrees to take the firearms, according to BSO.
Nov. 29, 2017: The Palm Beach County family that took in Cruz after the death of his mother calls the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office to report a fight between him and their son, 22. A member of the family says that Cruz had threatened to ‘get his gun and come back’ and that he has ‘put the gun to others’ heads in the past.’ The family does not want him arrested once he calms down.
Nov. 30, 2017: A caller from Massachusetts calls BSO to report that Cruz is collecting guns and knives and could be a ‘school shooter in the making.’ A BSO deputy advises the caller to contact the Palm Beach sheriff.
Jan. 5, 2018: A caller to the FBI’s tip line reports that Cruz has ‘a desire to kill people’ and could potentially conduct a school shooting. The information is never passed on to the FBI’s office in Miami.
Feb. 14, 2018: Nikolas Cruz attacks Stoneman Douglas High. Peterson, the school’s resource officer, Scot Peterson, draws his gun outside the building where Cruz is shooting students and staff. He does not enter.”
Why were all these signs ignored? Well, they were not ignored, but apparently swept under the rug.
Nothing about the school shooting was based on structural incompetence. The terrible event was an entirely predictable outcome of intentionally followed policy.
In April of 2012, Jesse Jackson began to promote the principle: “we must stop suspending our students.” In a report from Fox News, this was proposed at a rally in Florida after the Trayvon Martin incident. Jackson went on to illustrate the high number of black students who are suspended from school due to criminal occurrences. He recited statistics that found that black students are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended or expelled.
Three months later, in July 2012, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the basic outline of what later came to be known in Broward County as the “Promise Program.” The program, created by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder defined that rewards would be given if the “racial bias” in schools was dealt with and rectified.
In 2013, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel hired Chicago-based School Superintendent Robert Runcie to be the superintendent of the Broward County School District. From a 2011 report by Substance News, explaining the developments of the new hiring, the author stated, “Some are hopeful that Runcie’s connection to the Obama administration through Duncan will draw some benefits to the district and raise Broward’s profile in the national discourse on school reform.”
Sheriff Israel and Superintendent Runcie’s implementation of the Broward Promise Program was essentially a cake walk — stop arresting students and the results would prove to be warranted. As the statistics on school suspension and arrests improve, so does the financial reward from federal grants.
To read the entirely of the Promise Program to outline the scale of the agreement and which parties contributed to the policy, click HERE.
In an article from American Prospect, it is explained that efforts were being undertaken to avoid arresting students since 2013. It also speaks to the concern that Broward County may have turned a blind eye to the behavior of Nikolas Cruz to lower the number of student suspensions – a big part of the Obama-Holder prison reform plan.
Both Obama and Holder saw a great disparagement in the prison population in the U.S. According to a 2016 Census Bureau estimate, 13.3 percent of the population in the U.S. was African-American. Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Prisons shows that the same demographic makes up 40 percent of the prison population.
According to American Prospect, just before the arrival of Runcie, “black students in the sixth-largest district in the country had a graduation rate of only 61 percent compared to 81 percent for white students. To find out why, Runcie, who once headed a management-consulting firm, went to the data. ‘One of the first things I saw was a huge differential in minority students, black male students in particular, in terms of suspensions and arrests,’ he says. Black students made up two-thirds of all suspensions during the 2011-2012 school year despite comprising only 40 percent of the student body.”
Runcie’s initial claim is that since their is a disproportionate amount of minority students getting suspended and arrested, then there is automatically a racial bias.
He went on to be quoted in article as saying, “while there were 15,000 serious incidents like assaults and drug possession reported that year, 85 percent of all 82,000 suspensions were for minor incidents—use of profanity, disruptions of class—and 71 percent of all 1,000-plus arrests were for misdemeanors.” According to Runcie, the last statistic, “was a huge red flag.”
Broward County announced sweeping changes designed to mitigate the use of harsh punishments for minor misbehavior at the beginning of the 2013 school year.
The article explains, “While other districts have amended their discipline codes, prohibited arrests in some circumstances, and developed alternatives to suspension, Broward was able to do all these things at once with the cooperation of a group that included a member of the local NAACP, a school board member, a public defender, a local sheriff, a state prosecutor, and several others.”
Just a few months after the Promise Program was initiated, “The Miami Herald reported that suspensions were already down 40 percent and arrests were down 66 percent.”
All of this happened not because of a change in the behavior of students, but because of a change in the philosophy of pursing crimes caused by students, leading to the outcomes changing. The county’s education policy was intentionally constructed to ignore criminal behavior in schools, the sheriff and school superintendent cannot rely on “law-and-order-minded” school police officers to carry out the heavily nuanced policy.
The primary assertion here is that in order to obtain money from the federal government and programs that were instituted by Obama and Holder, local governments were to kept school arrests down.
Even though the Promise Program is set to end racial disparagement, the police cannot just ignore minorities – they can’t do that, obviously. First off, Obama and Holder are not that stupid – that would be illegal. The Obama Administration wants that desired outcome, but they cannot say that.
Of course, liberals can never be truthful about their real objectives overall or with policy details.
If the school-to-prison pipeline is to be changed, one cannot just cherry-pick to achieve the desired results. They need to go soft on all infractions, because people are most likely saying, “but Cruz is white!”
The point is that they had to ignore nearly all crimes and infractions in order to achieve their objective. Thus, Nikolas Cruz.
A few days after the horrible event, CNN’s Jake Tapper put the spotlight on Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for the politicization of the school shooting. In light of the highly-scripted town hall event, with the objective of advancing stricter gun control policy, the risk of larger ideological goals came to fruition.
Sheriff Israel was asked about the Promise Program by Tapper. However, it was not referenced that it was an Obama-Holder program.
“A lot of people in the community have noted that the Broward County School Board entered into an agreement when you were sheriff in 2013, to pursue the least punitive means of discipline against students,” Tapper said.
Tapper added, “And this new policy encouraged warnings, consultations with parents, programs on conflict resolution instead of arresting students for crimes. Weren’t there incidents committed by the shooter as a student that if this new policy hadn’t been in place, he would have been arrested for and then not able to legally the buy a gun?”
Of course, the answer is yes.
Sheriff Israel then answered.
“ISRAEL: What you’re referring to is the PROMISE Program, and it’s giving the school… The school has the ability under certain circumstances not to call the police, not to get the police involved on misdemeanor offenses and take care of it within the school. It’s an excellent program. It’s helping many, many people. What this program does is not put a person at 14, 15, 16 years old into the criminal justice system, so they can —
TAPPER: What if he should be in the criminal justice system?
ISRAEL: Then —
TAPPER: What if he does something violent to a student? What if he takes bullets to school?
ISRAEL: That… Then…
TAPPER: What if he takes knives to school? What if he threatens the lives of fellow students?
ISRAEL: Then he… Then he goes to jail.
TAPPER: That’s not what happened!
ISRAEL: That’s not possible in the PROMISE Program.
TAPPER: But that’s not what happened with the shooter.”
It is clear that a Broward County school police officer must carry a political hat and be able to intercept anti-social behavior via the guidelines of the Promise Program. they must modify their behavior, in defiance of the law enforcement policy, based on a specific political need to not arrest students. They must also modify or falsify documents or evidence related to the fulfillment of the program. They must also engage inside the system with a clear understanding of undocumented objectives forwarded down from the Obama Administration to the school board and police force to improve the statistics surrounding “racial bias.”
Therefore, the actual physical security of school students is not their primary role – they do not have time for that. A Broward County school officer is in place to protect the school system’s “policy” and ensure students are not arrested for criminal conduct under the Promise Program.
So…what does this do in regards to guns?
Background checks may not work if the data in the background check system is not even there because policies stemming from the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice under the “leadership” of Eric Holder set to “equalize racial populations” in prison. Ergo, resulting in a series of crimes and criminals not being arrested or reported because of a fundamental belief that bias exists in the criminal justice system against minorities.
Local police departments and school districts have been awarded federal grant money from the Obama Administration for not reporting in-school crimes. They have been looking the other way to change the racial proportion of the prison population among other things.
The problem with “stopping the school-to-prison pipeline” is the fact that without arrests being made, there is no record in background check data to keep violent people from having guns.
Despite the fact that not all states report data to the background check system, no matter what steps or procedures are put in place to prevent violent individuals from obtaining guns, if the procedure is corrupted, it will not work properly. Furthermore, if law enforcement officials are ordered not to intercede during a violent situation, that is the key here.
If the policy is to not arrest and to not pursue certain criminals and then deputies arrive at a school shooting and are following orders not to intercede, or are never trained on how to intercede, they will be useless as protection.
Interestingly, the Promise Program is actually an acronym: To Prevent Recidivism through Opportunity, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education.
However, it seems that the only “promise” made to anyone was paying off police so that violence in schools was not reported.
Before one makes the assumption that the answer to this is more gun control, dig deeper into what the real problem is in America’s schools, because it actually isn’t in the schools at all. The real problem is the reason why violence occurs – it’s anger, it’s loneliness, it’s carelessness, it’s the breakdown of the family that no one is addressing.