FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - School leaders are speaking out about Robert Runcie preparing to step down as Broward County Public School’s superintendent following his arrest for perjury.
Runcie offered to resign from his position as the school district’s leader Tuesday after the school board discussed his arrest for allegedly lying to a grand jury.
“To lose Mr. Runcie is going to be a detriment to this community, but I also understand,” said Broward County School Board Chairwoman Dr. Rosalind Osgood.
The Broward County School Board will likely vote on Thursday to begin the process of mutual separation with Superintendent Runcie, which he initiated with the following comments at the end of Tuesday’s workshop.
“I’m willing to discuss a path to a mutual agreement of separation as you described, Ms. Alhadeff,” Runcie said.
He spoke directly to board member Lori Alhadeff, who lost her daughter Alyssa Alhadeff in the Parkland school shooting on Feb. 14, 2018.
“If it’s going to give you and these other parents who remain angry peace — because I don’t see how there’s anything else I can do — if it’s going to give you that, I will step aside, so you can have the peace that you are looking for,” Runcie said.
“I was very surprised, but I am thankful that he is doing the right thing for Broward County Schools,” Alhadeff said.
But other parents who lost loved ones in the shooting felt differently.
“Bob Runcie is a victim of his own undoing. And to watch him blame the true victims of the Parkland tragedy, my daughter Gina, our recovering families, was a little disturbing,” said Tony Montalto.
“It’s extremely upsetting that he would try to portray that his resignation that he was doing it for the Parkland families,” said Max Schachter, who lost his son Alex Schachter.
If these are the final few days of Runcie as superintendent, they said it has more to do with his arrest for perjury last week.
“The real reason he’s resigning is that he got indicted by the statewide grand jury,” Schachter said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Runcie lied under oath while being asked about the district’s former technology chief Anthony Hunter, who was accused of steering equipment contracts toward an acquaintance.
Runcie is not without support, which many voiced before the board.
“Superintendent Runcie has done a phenomenal job of working with the business community and helping improve the reputation and image of Broward County Public Schools throughout the country,” said Bob Swindell of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.
And community leaders said he will be missed.
“I just hate to see him leave because I believe he’s done a phenomenal job, and there are many who feel that way,” said Eddy Moise of Bethel AME.
The school board will hold a meeting Thursday, where they are expected to grant permission to Dr. Osgood to negotiate the end of employment agreements not only with Runcie but also with BCPS General Counsel Barbara Myrick, who was also arrested last week.
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