OPINION | Chris McCarthy: Who Left the Children Unprotected?
Broward County Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie is calling for gun control after the children in his care were murdered. Why didn't he protect those kids in his care?
I'm sorry if you think it is too soon, but the issue is too important and we need to be honest if we are going to stop the next school massacre.
Robert Runcie has been in charge of the schools in Broward County since 2011. Prior to working in Florida, he held important positions in the Chicago public schools. Born in Jamaica he graduated from Harvard and earned an MBA from Northwestern University. He is an American success story in many ways.
But on Ash Wednesday the students entrusted to his care and custody were slaughtered. A football coach gave up his life shielding children from the gunfire of a deranged former student. At no point was the gunman confronted by an armed guard or police officer in the building. A maniac entered the building carrying a rifle, shot up the school and left the building without facing anyone trained and prepared to protect the children.
We have been having school shootings since at least 1999 when two young men shot their classmates at Columbine High School in Colorado. Why didn't Robert Runcie have a plan in place to protect his students? He is calling for gun control, but those kids were left unprotected because he didn't protect them. Sadly he is more responsible for the death of those children than anybody else besides the man who pulled the trigger.
On the school's website, the superintendent talks about his goals and motivations as an educator. He says "education is social justice cause of our lifetime" and that he "values diversity."
"To ensure all students have the ability to complete their education and to eliminate the “schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline,” Superintendent Runcie led BCPS efforts to become a national model for ending zero-tolerance policies for non-violent offenses in schools. With the support of the School Board and through collaborative community efforts, BCPS has instituted new, effective practices for handling student behavior incidents, without resorting to law enforcement involvement. Student-related arrests are down by 65% since Runcie’s arrival." See original HERE.
This highly educated man must know additional gun control isn't going to happen and it isn't going to stop maniacs from killing. He is blaming an inanimate object for the death of the children he decided not to protect despite 20 years of school shootings. Robert Runcie should be looking at his own decisions and how he could have protected his students rather than blaming the Second Amendment.
I have discussed this issue with local officials here in the greater New Bedford area and all of them had armed police officers in their schools before this attack. They understand the need to have a person who can defend the children at a moments notice and work with local law enforcement rather than excluding them from the schools.
Editor's Note: Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m.-Noon. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.