DeSantis suspends Broward County School Board members, see why

The Washington Times reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has suspended four members of the Broward County School Board. 

The suspension is related to the mass shooting that occurred, in February 2018, in Parkland – which is located in Broward County – at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Background

Following the shooting, Broward County – specifically the county’s local police and school officials – faced a lot of criticism for what many considered to be lax safety standards, standards that may have contributed to the shooting.

The Supreme Court of Florida ended up convening a grand jury to examine school safety.

A report, from April 2021, found that the Broward County School Board had mismanaged funds intended for school safety by failing to use those funds to address known problems.

The report, for example, found that a safety alarm could have helped to have saved lives – yet, some schools in the county still don’t have one.

The report also found that students were still being educated in “unsafe, aging, decrepit, moldy buildings,” even though these buildings were supposed to have been renovated some time ago.

DeSantis takes action

It is with all of this in mind that DeSantis has gone ahead and suspended four members of the Broward County School Board.

DeSantis released a statement on Friday, saying:

It is my duty to suspend people from office when there is clear evidence of incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance or malfeasance. The findings of the Statewide Grand Jury affirm the work of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety Commission. We are grateful to the members of the jury who have dedicated countless hours to this mission and we hope this suspension brings the Parkland community another step towards justice. This action is in the best interest of the residents and students of Broward County and all citizens of Florida.

The four individuals have been identified as Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray, and Laurie Rich Levinson.

Levinson is the chairman of the board. She has referred to DeSantis’s decision to suspend her and three others as a “political hatchet job.”

DeSantis has appointed four individuals to replace the four school board members whom he has suspended.

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