FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Robert Runcie has offered to step down as Broward County Public Schools’ superintendent.
Runcie offered to step down as the school district’s leader on Tuesday, as board members discussed his arrest for allegedly lying to a grand jury, as well as the arrest of BCPS General Counsel Barbara Myrick.
“If the environment is not as such that I can do my very best, I’m willing to discuss a path to a mutual agreement of separation,” Runcie said.
While speaking, Runcie said to BCPS Board Member Lori Alhadeff, “I know you’ve been in enormous amounts of pain that none of us can ever imagine. I guess I’m probably part of the source of that in some way. If it’s going to give you peace and it’s going to give you and those other parents who remain angry, 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.”
Alhadeff lost her daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, in the Feb. 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
“When I ran for school board, I wanted to seek accountability, and I think today that is happening,” Alhadeff said via Zoom after the meeting. “It’s time for him and which he is stepping down and for new leadership to come and run the school system.”
Although Alhadeff did not comment immediately, other school board members let their thoughts be known.
“I see ample evidence, which has been building on which this board shall act,” Alhadeff said.
“We can’t continue to be divisive and make it about Feb. 14,” BCPS Board Member Debra Hixon, who lost her husband, Chris Hixon, in the Parkland shooting, said.
“I’m not willing to just throw Mr. Runcie and Ms. Myrick under the bus,” BCPS School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood said.
Before announcing his offer to step down as superintendent, Runcie posted a video statement on his arrest that said he would be vindicated of the perjury charge. He also described his arrest as politically charged.
“I intend to continue to carry out my responsibilities as superintendent with the highest level of integrity,” Runcie said in the video statement.
Max Schachter, who lost his son, Alex Schachter, in the Parkland shooting, released a statement on Runcie’s offer.
“The actions that Bob Runcie took today are a direct result of his recent indictment,” Schachter wrote. “Those charges had nothing to do with the Parkland shooting. We look forward to reading the full grand jury report when it comes out in the near future, and I think that the recent charges are just the tip of the iceberg.”
On Tuesday, Runcie’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the charge against him.
If board members decide to take action, they could vote to remove Runcie from his position on Thursday.
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