Shameful War Agt Sun-Sentinel: Runcie’s School Staff Tries To Thwart Pulitzer


Slipped into a 1,579-word Sun-Sentinel editorial on the paper’s much-deserved Pulitzer win last week for coverage of the Parkland school massacre was this astounding sentence: 

“A former school administrator, with input from the district’s public information office, wrote a letter to the Pulitzer Board, asking that the Sun Sentinel’s work not be honored.

The letter to the Board, the Sun-Sentinel wrote, “accused us of being biased, unethical and racist. She said we refused to correct misinformation, failed to give voice to those who believe Superintendent Robert Runcie is doing an excellent job and prolonged the suffering of the families of the shooting victims.”

The Pulitzer Board rejected the allegations. The prestigious prize was awarded. 

It’s understandable why the newspaper buried the news that the school systems’ public information office was working to undermine them.  

Journalists don’t like becoming the story. 

Still, somewhat has to say it:

The sentence dropped into the editorial is shocking! 

A public information office, paid with our tax dollars, used public money to attack the Sun-Sentinel.

This comes after school system officials, also on the public payroll, turned a meeting on school safety into a pep rally for Runcie. They packed the meeting with supporters of the superintendent.  

Runcie’s reign as the head of Broward’s public schools has degenerated into a bureaucracy more interested in the superintendent keeping his job than anything else. 

The schools even hired $165,000-a-year outside public relations executive Kathy Koch whose job could be described as protecting Runcie from bad publicity. 

(She even gets to continue running her downtown Fort Lauderdale PR firm while working for the schools.) 

Koch supplemented a huge, expensive effort in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High murders to withhold records and spread misinformation.

As a longtime South Florida journalist I can assure you that the Broward Schools has long been renowned for hiding information and openly lying to the public. 

Runcie has perfected the trademark stonewalling to a specialty. The school system’s forte under Runcie are obfuscation, double-talk or no talk at all. 

And when the Sun-Sentinel called schools on it, they struck back with a letter trying to thwart the Pulitzer. 

The schools are at war with the Sun-Sentinel. The paper’s crime, in Runcie and his acolytes eyes, is uncovering the truth about the Parkland school shootings.

The School Board?  Elected as Runcie’s boss, some are more like supplicants at the feet of the sultan. And like the sultan, Runcie should never be questioned. 

Hopefully the Statewide Grand Jury that Gov. Ron DeSantis launched will examine closely the system’s public information budget and how the money was spent.

Because when we pay taxes for education, we expect the money to help children learn.

We don’t expect hundreds of thousands to be used to burnish the image of Superintendent Robert Runcie. 

19 Responses to “Shameful War Agt Sun-Sentinel: Runcie’s School Staff Tries To Thwart Pulitzer”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Wasn’t awesome.Paper, I buy everyday won a Pulitzer.Go to show ya even though your paying $2.36 a pop( who came up with that stupid amount )your getting your money’s worth Dearest Robert( just imagine).Again, once again to settle all this and give these victims families closure Mr.Runcie must go.

    By the Paper winning this award proves he must go….

  2. Old Timer says:

    Buddy… aren’t some of the school board members against Superintendent Runcie? It is unfair to paint them all with the same brush if the have different positions on his retention.


    The post says “some” School Board members. The members skeptical of Runcie are usually Lori Alhadeff, Heather Brinkworth, Nora Rupert and Robin Bartleman. Runcie has actively worked behind the scenes to defeat some of these members by helping challengers’ campaigns, which is outrageous.

    Five other members remain in his pocket. So he has a razor thin margin of support, but that has been all he needed.

  3. Real Deal says:

    What letter? Whose letter? Who signed it? Can you share it so we can draw our own conclusions?

  4. A fly on the wall says:

    K-12 education is one of the few institutions that self destructs on a regular basis. Learning and discipline methods that work are thrown out when a new administrator enters the building. School based administrators are “encouraged” to under report incidences that disrupt the learning environment. They are also responsible for buses, the cafeteria, school maintenance, technology, and discipline of students leaving not much time for making sure students are learning. Teachers must know their content area, act as counselors, and teach to the test.

    The School Superintendent’s most important responsibility is ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn in a safe environment. Runcie has failed miserably to meet that responsibility. He backed the Promise program which allowed students to commit multiple discipline infractions with no real consequences. Runcie continues to let students attend classes in substandard buildings. Runcie demonstrated poor judgement in filling several positions at KCW. Now he is paying for someone to throw rocks at the Sun-Sentinel?

    Broward County public schools need a Superintendent that cares more about the learning environment than about their own self image. Runcie must go!

  5. Unsafe at any public school says:

    If you send your child to public school in Broward you are crazy. Take a second or third job and send them to private school. Better safe than sorry. Runcie is evil.

  6. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    What kind of people support Runcie? Who writes a letter complaining about literary or journalistic awards? Who does Runcie’s supporters look to as a ROLE MODEL – DONALD TRUMP?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Koch is part of the Broward Workshop group that props Runcie up. How does Runcie fool the business community into supporting him?

  8. Charles King says:

    Shame on the 6 of 9 complicit and/or cowardly School Board Member stooges that bowed to the big business sellouts and the delusional bowtie clad raving reverends by voting to retain this incompetent man and his hand picked regime. If they could, they’d surely hire a tin pot Jamaican Newspaper to fly over and cover their version of reality for the voters. Come to think of it, the Westside Gazette is already providing this service.

  9. $800 Million Lies says:

    “The Broward County School Board canceled design contracts for five renovation projects, creating more delays for the troubled $800 million bond program.LIMCO Engineering, a Jamaican-based company with an office in Lighthouse Point, has experienced “significant delays” in preparing design documents”

    More renovation delays in today’s newspaper. Runcie’s promises on the $800 million bonds were lies. Even before Parkland, Runcie’s record on the bonds should result in his firing.

  10. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:



    Try the governor’s office first:

  11. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    But they keep electing the bad actors

  12. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    NEW YORK Magazine in DECLINE for decades has an article WITH PRAISE OF RINCIE OBVIOUSLY PLANTED BY A RUNCIE FLACK WE THE TACPAYERS PAID OR ARE PAYING. When will the VOTERS realize voting dmfor non entities for the School Board has created RUNCIE’s REGIME?


    If I found the right article, three days ago New York Magazine had a piece about the recent alleged beating of a African American youth by a Broward Sheriff’s deputy. It mentions Runcie in a positive way in passing.

    The writer lives in Brooklyn and has covered race and politics for New York Magazine for less than a year. I doubt whether he has a firm grasp of what is doing on in Broward’s schools.

  13. Adriana says:

    Very good article. There will be school board members running again in 2020. I suggest to look at Tim Sternberg as a candidate running in 2020. Support him for a change in Broward School Board! Buddy if you can interview him soon for our community to see how well qualified person he is.

  14. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Buddy in your response to #12 in reference to the New Yorker magazine.

    First that magazine which I read and like is going nowhere.To point out in regards to the magazine pointing Mr.Runcie say favorably and reference to the young black juvenile being allegedly beaten.

    First Mr.Runcie and school be.member Osgood( along with county appointed Mayor Bogen) who stated that these deputies involved in taking down this young Black kid.And they should be fired,along with criminal charges being filed.

    These Broward officials,all 3- Runcie,Osgood,Bogen should not be commenting.

    We are seeing( over 100x now) video that shows the very last part of the incident.We Don know why the deputies took down this young man,what the circumstances were etc.To paint these county cops as thugs,just looking to beat down this young man is inappropriate.

    Let the SAO do their investigation and let’s see the entire video.We don’t know if the deputies felt threatened,cornered or feared being assulted themseves.If I were these deputies atty.i would ask to move entire case to another county.

    How can the deputies get a fair trial with Runcie etc already finding them guilty? Yes.Oh the three of them cast them as thugs just beating this kid up for ha ha’s I want to see entire video of what took place….

    And their worst enemy this appointed sheriff( Tony).The way he addressed the Tamarac commission was beyond disrespectful.U did your officers great harm by your hard ass attitude.

    Take my approach.No yell and scream that u r to good to be questioned by the commission.They had and have right to question the sheriff. His conduct before the commission Was shameful.My take.I think by Sheriff Tony actions at the commission meeting any law enforcement Democrat could and would beat this Republican appointed sheriff.

    Key here is appointed .And no I’m not suggesting Isreal run again.U think a Black experience d Democrat will beat Tony.Lets see entire video folks.Member what was it over 50;to 100 high school kids surrounding these cops.

    What would u do?….

  15. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Of course AS A REAL JOURNALIST (Roy Cohen was disbarred for a REASON! – Mr Nevins will get the reference) Mr Nevins HAS NAILED IT! What is the point of Scott Travis like Buddy Nevins followi g the School Board Forever n a l year out of towner being conned by a flack

  16. dennis marsella says:


  17. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    #4…the majority of the board with him. He lives and dies by that majority.

  18. Mel Slirrup says:

    I went to a meeting w/ Mr. Runcie a few years back at a community center. The room was full of teachers who were very irate about the yearly nonsense that comes with contract negotiations. Nothing new there…but your readers might be surprised to know that Runcie was driven up in what looked like a Cadillac SUV, whisked in by three bodyguards in suits. They positioned themselves at each door. When the Sup had to use the bathroom, a bodyguard went with him. Each of these bodyguards makes north of $80,000/year. In my two decades plus with this ridiculous county, I’ve never seen anything so absurd. I will retire the day I am eligible for my pension. Sadly, I will leave still loving what I do but refusing to have anything more to do with this outfit…it is a Fiasco, with a capital ‘F’ at all levels.


    This comment was sent on April 28 and somehow got identified as spam. I found it, thought it was interesting and moved it up to the top of the comment queue.

  19. Chicago, Chicago says:

    Thug life, Chicago style. Send Runcie back to his adopted home town.