Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie emphasized mental health problems Wednesday when discussing the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“We received no warning, no anything. There’s going to be an investigation. You can see in these situations there could have been signs out there. I would be speculating at this point if there were. But we don’t — we didn’t have any warnings, no phone calls or threats that we know of,” Runcie told reporters.
When asked what he would tell parents who may be afraid to send their kids to school after the shooting, Runcie stated, “What I would say, we cannot live in a world built on fear. We have to do what we can to make sure that we provide the greatest safety measures we can for our kids. What I’ll tell you is that mental health issues in this country are growing and they are a big challenge and something that needs to certainly be addressed within our school systems as well as in the broader society to ensure that these kind of tragedies don’t continue.”
“We’ve got to be able to recognize individuals that are in distress that have challenges and be able to find ways to support them,” Runcie continued. “Our schools, we do what we can to make sure they’re as safe as they possibly can be for our children. Again, this is a day that we prayed would never be here in Broward County. But we’re dealing with it and we’re going to deal with it as a community and we’ll pull through it. My prayers and heartfelt sorry goes out to the families and this entire community.”
“No sane person is going to go and commit such an atrocity. So I would say that is something that we have to deal with,” Runcie said.
Runcie did not confirm whether or not the suspect’s mental health was a leading factor in the case.