Broward County schools, after over two months of claiming the opposite, admitted on Sunday that confessed Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz had been referred to the PROMISE Program.
The PROMISE Program, an alternative discipline program designed to limit on-campus arrests, has been widely reported as ineffective and corrupt. It has come under intense scrutiny in the weeks since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but until Sunday, school officials were still denying that Cruz ever had any connection to that program.
Superintendent Robert Runcie said during an interview last month that he believed in the PROMISE Program, and didn’t want a false narrative to detract from its success. “Let me reiterate this point. Nikolas Cruz, the shooter that was involved in this horrific accident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, had no connection to the PROMISE program.”
Senator Marco Rubio said that he had been repeatedly assured that there was no link between Cruz and the PROMISE Program as well.
I was repeatedly told that the Parkland shooter was never in the Promise Program I was asking questions about. Now it turns out that in fact he was. https://t.co/q1JTbDXoU3
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 7, 2018
But according to WJCT First Coast News (an NPR affiliate), Runcie’s spokeswoman Tracy Clark indicated on Friday that Cruz’s records were being “aggressively analyzed.” By Sunday, Clark admitted that a connection had been confirmed: Cruz was referred to the PROMISE Program following a bathroom vandalism incident at the middle school in 2013.
Clark further explained that, although Cruz appeared for the intake interview, there is no record of him completing the three-day assignment that had been recommended for him. She “did not want to speculate” as to the reason that he did not attend the program, and did not provide any information explaining why the school district failed to follow up on his failure to attend.