The Broward School District’s Superintendent Robert Runcie suddenly cancelled a parent meeting planned for Thursday, Jan. 24, in which he would listen to parent’s concerns involving Stoneman Douglas’ school security.
This meeting would have been the first between Runcie and parents after Feb. 14, where many MSD parents and faculty were planning on being in attendance.
Principal Ty Thomson sent out a phone call to parents of MSD students on Jan. 23 explaining Runcie’s abrupt cancellation.
“The purpose of the meeting was to create an opportunity for MSD parents to pose questions to the district and Superintendent Runcie and to share any concerns they may have,” Thompson said in the message. “Today, numerous threats of protests on social media created an unacceptable risk for students who will be attending events on campus tomorrow evening.”
Runcie’s statement of cancellation had been relayed through Thompson, with Runcie also explaining that he will coordinate with parent groups to figure out other ways to address their concerns.
The threats of protest that Runcie was concerned about came from a few announcements online. Individuals such as these did go to the school board meeting on Jan. 13, bringing some protest signs and cheering on speakers denouncing Runcie. However, they did not cause any major disruptions.
“I think Runcie was just chickening out from having to actually face the mistakes he made,” junior Amanda Brotton said. “Why else would he hold off meeting parents for almost a year and then suddenly cancel the day before?”
Many Parkland residents agree that Runcie is in the wrong for cancelling, and are demanding that he reschedule and listen to the issues MSD is facing.
“Honestly I’m just so done with this school board and Runcie specifically not doing their part for this community,” MSD mother Laura Brotton said. “It’s really disappointing to watch.”
After taking heat from MSD parents and students, Runcie and his staff rushed to set up four new parent meetings, one for each grade, in order to avoid clutter and chaos in the meetings.
The meeting with freshmen students and parents will be on Jan. 31, sophomores will be on Feb. 4, juniors will be on Jan. 5 and seniors will be on Feb. 11.