Robert Runcie, the current Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent since 2011, has recently come under fire after being arrested for impending charges for perjury in front of a statewide jury. Though pleading not guilty, he still decided that it was best to resign from his role.
“Last week, after two days and many hours of testifying to the grand jury, I received an indictment,” Runcie said in a video statement he released countywide on April 27. “It accuses me of making a false statement.”
This shock left the county begging for more answers to their questions.
Runcie has received fervent criticism since the 2018 Parkland shooting, with calls for him to resign from his position as many find his handling of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting tragedy to be sharply inadequate.
But last week, Runcie was directly accused of perjury while being asked to testify over a technology deal. He was indicted on this charge.
Following this, Runcie told the school board on Tuesday night that he was willing and ready to resign from his position after a majority of the members found themselves wanting to put him on leave or fire him.
“I cannot put myself above the needs of our district,” Runcie said.
This controversial decision stirs up many points about whether this was necessary and if it affects the county’s students or disrupts their working environment.
“Honestly, I think it only makes sense for Runcie to resign. As a superintendent, honesty and action should be a priority and not even a question when dealing with the tragedy that occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School,” sophomore Ayleen Jimenez said. “Robert Runcie now facing pending charges of perjury is not comforting to me personally, as a student, therefore leading me to believe it’s best for him to resign.”
Many are disheartened by his actions following the Parkland shooting and find that it was within people’s best interest to have him already stepped down from being Superintendent.
“While I’m not fully aware of the details of the case, I do believe Runcie should step down. It would help to appease the families of the Parkland victims and would avoid any further contention,” senior Drew Okun said. “Also, after being arrested, it would be in his best interest to resign [so] as to not create any more issues with the school board.”
Robert Runcie made a fair-minded decision to step down from his role as the BCPS’s superintendent. The students in Broward County deserve a role model they can aspire to be in their future careers.
Having an official that adjudicates all of our learning decisions that has the possibility of being fraudulent is in no way an exemplar of what makes BCPS excel. His possible misleading actions are not representative of us as a district and is not who the students deserve to be leading our educational decisions.
Remaining in his position would stir more problems and could take time away from these board members that should be spent on enriching students, improving the curriculum, bettering the school environment, and making students proud to call Broward County their home.