Broward School Board Members Defend Runcie’s Failures On Parkland Shooting, Other Mistakes

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

Happy New Year!

It might be 2019, but it is the same old, tired story from two Broward County School Board members. 

Members Laurie Rich Levinson of Weston and Rosalind Osgood of Fort Lauderdale remain delusional about the leadership of the public schools. 

The two self-described “Leading Ladies of Broward” used WPLG Local10 to spew a dizzying display of deception in their defense of Superintendent Robert Runcie.  

This Week In South Florida’s host Michael Putney tried to pin down Levinson and Osgood. It was like trying to nail jello to a wall.  Or trying to get a straight story from Donald Trump. 

 

Laurie Rich Levinson: Spewing Nonsense on TV

 

Runcie’s leadership has been sterling and has improved the schools, argued Levinson and Osgood, using selective data to prove their point. 

  • Levinson and Osgood didn’t mention that the $800 bond referendum has become another broken promise from Runcie and the Board. Most of the money remains unspent four years after the bond referendum’s passage. The current estimated completion date of the projects are now two years later than promised.  They will cost $100 millions over the original budget.
  • Levinson and Osgood said nothing about Runcie’s horrible record of hiring and retaining administrators.  For instance, Runcie is on his fourth construction manager since 2012. 
  • Levinson and Osgood ignored that Runcie stalled any investigation into the Stoneman Douglas shootings for four months until a state commission took over the probe.
  • Levinson and Osgood tried to excuse why they still don’t have many necessary policies needed to keep students and teachers safe during a school shooting. This was their biggest and most dangerous delusion. 

Ed Pozzuoli, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer also on the TV show, wasn’t buying any of it. He knew where to place the blame — The School Board.

The members like Levinson and Osgood did not push Runcie to respond promptly to the Parkland killings, Pozzuoli said.

“The School Board has failed the pace of the change that is necessary (with) very simple things they can do…We’re talking now almost a year (since the Parkland shootings),” he said.

The simple steps include creating safe spaces in schools where students and staff could hide. The School Board is still studying a “safe space policy” as the one-year anniversary of the killings approach.

Pozzuoli mentioned creating a phone app that could instantly tell those in the school what was occurring. The School Board hasn’t done this, but some charter schools have the app already in place.

What really upset Pozzuoli were Osgood’s TV comment that appeared to blame the Sun-Sentinel for keeping the heat on Runcie and the Board. 

Osgood is furious. Or thin-skinned.  Or both at the paper’s coverage. Osgood even refused to name it on TV, calling it a “certain newspaper.” 

Pozzuoli had a different take on the newspaper’s pursuit of the Parkland story.

“I commend the Sun-Sentinel,” Pozzuoli said. “With respect to the School Board members, I kinda resent the fact they are angry at the Sun-Sentinel.  All it did was report…To me, you want to be held accountable and you resent being held accountable, shame on you.” 

Rosemary O’Hara, the Sun-Sentinel’s editorial board editor, was also on the TV panel. She didn’t say it but I will.

The Sun-Sentinel has been doing what a newspaper should do: Exposing wrong doing. The paper’s prodigious work by almost every member of the staff will surely be a Pulitzer contender. 

O’Hara’s page has led the way with well thought-out, deeply researched editorials. The School Board may remain Runcie’s mouthpiece, but the Sun-Sentinel isn’t backing down:

 

 

 

 

Why are some School Board members so fervent in their defense of Runcie? 

There is a clue to a remark Osgood made off camera. Putney said Osgood told him that “the unspoken subtext to all the criticism is that he (Runcie) is black.”

 

Rosalind Osgood: Using The Race Card

 

That’s the argument of Runcie’s supporters in the African American community. Talk like that scares the liberal Democratic School Board members because blacks comprise roughly half of the registered Democrats in Broward. 

If they criticize Runcie, they fear their political careers are over.

It is good to remind Levinson, who is widely rumored in political circles to want to run for Broward County Commission, and others what happened to School Board member Nora Rupert in last year’s campaign.

The superintendent’s most vocal opponent, Rupert won reelection despite Runcie personally supporting and raising money for her opponent.

And Rupert won by a bigger margin than any of Runcie’s supporters.  

No, Runcie hasn’t failed in everything. He can point to some improvements he made.

But Runcie has failed where it counts, in managing the system and especially in school safety. 

So here is a test for the Broward School Board. It consists of only two questions:

(1) When will School Board members put smooth running schools and student safety ahead of their petty fears for their political future?

(2) When will Levinson and Osgood and the others start acting like Runcie’s boss rather than his puppet? 



19 Responses to “Broward School Board Members Defend Runcie’s Failures On Parkland Shooting, Other Mistakes”

  1. Bye bye Ros says:

    I hearChris Smith has Jimmy Witherspoon lined up to run against Osgood.

  2. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    First of all look at the FINANCIAL let alone POLITICAL connections of the School Board members to SCHOOL BOARD SPENDING. The CONFLICTS would force a PUBLIC FIRM TO REMOVE SUCH BOARD MEMBERS OF THE SEC WOUKD OR THE DOJ. But Black voters vote BLACK n Jewish voters vote for Jewish candidates EVEN IF THEY ARE LIKE WHAT IS ON THE BOARD NOW.

  3. Well Said says:

    Charlies F. Dodge would be fantastic as leader of Broward County’s beleaguered school system…..simply look at the very cool Pembroke Pines Charter School system as solid proof….outstanding performance at all levels!!!!

  4. Eye Know says:

    Dr. Osgood is on to something. How come every African American is railroaded from office? Just coincidence. Snipes, Oliphant and now Runcie.

  5. Jaque says:

    The reason (African Americans politicians) are being fired from their jobs is because their poor performance….On the other hand Sheriff Israel is white and also incompetent.

  6. Harold T says:

    You mentioned that Runcie can’t seem to hold on to construction managers. What about principals? He has done a terrible job of picking principals. The poor leadership in the schools is causing morale problems among the staff and teachers/others to leave.

  7. Randy Fleischer says:

    The School Board and Runcie are doing a great job managing our schools. The problem is guns!!! HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE NOT TO MENTION GUN CONTROL!!! How did this 19 year old kid amass so many guns??? You cannot blame Scott Israel or the teachers or the officers who do not want to get shot running into some trigger happy kid with too many bullets and too many guns and too much anger. Maybe his therapist is to blame. This is not a racial issue – it is about too many guns, too many bullets and not enough R’s in DC or Tally to fight the NRA.

  8. Attention to details says:

    Pay attention people. You all must have missed it. Read Osgoods recent eval of Runcie then notice all of the people mysteriously resigning. Osgood was heard a few months ago at the Floridian telling a group of women that is furious about Feb 14 and staff not protecting the children. She went on to talk about spending weeks watching videos and reading articles about the incident. As I listened I was not able to hear exactly what videos.
    Always remember that Black people see the world black

  9. Accountability Counts says:

    It’s really disappointing to read the post @4. How can anyone honestly defend the performance of Brenda Snipes ? It is just completely beyond the pale to argue that she is being “targeted” because of her race. Putting all that aside, she resigned … so where is the beef ? She’s just a fight for her pension at this point. It’s about the money not some high minded concern to protect the will of the voters. To the point in this article, being a member of a racial minority seems to bring with it less rather than more accountability. Sheriff Israel is being scrutinized as he should be. I support his removal notwithstanding the postings of the sycophants on this blog who are beholden to him as a result of his patronage and largess. Israel was always over his head from day one. Broward can do better.

  10. Peanut Cop says:

    Great job! Please keep digging .. Make all those incompetent Moran’s fall… One by one and soon two by two…Great job!

  11. AppClarification says:

    Just a quick clarification – schools have a choice to go with the app created with BSO called SaferWatch or the app that is being used at the FLDoE called FortifyFL. Both have the ability to alert police. The district is advising the use of either (Supt. Runcie sent out a district email earlier this school year about the two).

  12. A fly on the wall says:

    The downtown business/builder group loves Runcie too. Many of them receive contracts for construction for the School Board. Some own furniture companies that could possibly furnish schools. Runcie continues to spin the level of safety in the schools, so it looks good on paper for future residents to fill the residences the builders construct and the realtors fill. Back scratchin’ techniques.
    Perhaps the School Board “ladies” who are blind to Runcie’s faults have financial reasons also.
    The money trail for people to benefit from the School Board of Broward County is as old as the record of a well established Broward family who bought up land to resell to the SBBC at inflated prices as schools were needed.

  13. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    #7 is a Democrat activist part of the Left wing that DEFENDS THE FAILING SCHOOLS HERE because JUST LIKE THE ‘BROWARD WORKSHOP”CROWD on the Right wing BILKS THE TAXPAYER WITH BLOATED CONTRACTS

  14. Runcie’s Promise says:

    @Randy

    You absolutely can blame Runcie for the shooter being able to have a gun. By Runcie participating in the “Promise” program, the shooters repeated criminal activity was overlooked. That is the only reason he was able to buy the gun. And Runcie helped him pull the trigger with every shot.
    I hope the Gov fires him soon.

  15. tellitlikeitizz says:

    I know a person that was a great leader in this district for years. Andrew Luciani would be a GREAT superintendent!

  16. howard bell says:

    wow so many white supremacist Trumpsters on this report. Runcie hated because of his race . He did fire the bullets what was he supposed to do run in front of the gunman.

  17. Tellit Like It Is says:

    There is only ONE leader that comes to mind when speaking about Broward County public school system, and that leader is Andrew Luciani. Luciani was a highly respected and reputable leader in Broward for years.

  18. Peanut Cop says:

    Keep on looking…..Former Sheriff Israel is his own worst enemy….Please keep looking into the Sheriff and buddies who had Sheriffs Israels victory party at his low class Margate,Florida House. Look very closely into this party….

  19. Peanut Cop says:

    Oh! BTW,SB,Os—d and your husband,Os—d of BSO, really????You waited until you were off the record to accuse people after Runcie of being prejudice? Really? The shooter wasn’t prejudice!You both need to go…..Welcome Sheriff Gregory!Don’t fall into the trap of the Os—-s because they are evil and only care about power and status…

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