Yet here we are being confronted by the gun control crowd protesting in Washington demanding their version of safer schools in what has been dubbed as the March for Our Lives in Washington DC. Some are even screeching about the Omnibus spending bill signed by President Trump on Friday amid much backlash from both sides of the aisle. Instead of being concerned about the more than a trillion dollars added to the National Deficit and the multitude of American taxpayer dollars going to fund other countries, leftist progressives like David Brock are claiming President Trump did not do enough. One of the few cuts made in the Omnibus bill was cuts to funding for two safety initiatives implemented after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) March 24, 2018
Known as the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (CSSI) and Research and Evaluation of Technologies to Improve School Safety, the measures were both canceled as a result of cuts to funding. According to a message on the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) website – “With the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, the funding planned for these solicitations is no longer available for research and evaluation,” noting that the funding would be “used for other purposes under the Stop School Violence Act of 2018.”
Brock’s media publication – ShareBlue, whines about the funding cuts and lack of gun-control legislation found in the Omnibus stating – “It doesn’t even have any provisions related specifically to guns. Instead, it focuses on training students, teachers, and law enforcement to respond to mental health issues. And it provides funding for measures meant to “harden” schools, like metal detectors.”
People used to march for their rights, now they just march to have them taken away.
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) March 24, 2018
Brock also attempts to draw some sort of correlation between the fact that the Trump administration made the initial request to Congress to cancel funding for these two programs on February 12 and just two days later on Valentine’s Day, Nikolas Cruz went on his rampage through Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 people dead, as well drawing some correlation regarding the rise in school shootings.
Saw a small child holding up a “Trump kills kids” sign at the #Marchforourlives in New York City
Such exploitative idiocy is borderline child abuse- and no serious person could believe it is in any way helpful
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) March 24, 2018
Except a recent study published by Northeastern University shows that school shootings are actually fewer, demonstrating there is no growing trend, with findings showing shooting incidents involving students has been declining since the 1990s.
However, the timing was merely coincidental and funding ceased on these programs because they were unsuccessful. These programs have been in place for years and it is certainly clear something needs to be done. The new spending accord actually raises overall federal school safety funding. It also shifts funds from these two current and existing programs into what is known as the STOP School Violence Act or STOP. STOP is included as part of the omnibus and allows for funding to be used for physical security measures, like metal detectors.
The $75 million that was previously appropriated to fund the CSSI has also been rerouted to help fund STOP. The CSSI was a program in the Department of Justice that funds research and implementation of a wide range of evidence-based safety programs that range from bullying prevention to innovative approaches to school policing. This policy gave birth to programs such as the PROMISE program – a program that allowed Cruz to effectively escape arrest, indictment, and conviction which potentially could have blocked him from purchasing the firearms used to take the lives of his 17 victims.
What is the PROMISE program? American Thinker describes the program and its effect on Broward County Public Schools like this –
“In the 2011-2012 school year, Broward County Public Schools had the highest number of school-related arrests statewide at 1,062. Newly hired Superintendent Robert Runcie, with strong connections to the Obama administration, teamed up with community organizations like the NAACP, local law enforcement, and government agencies to sign the Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline to eliminate the “schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline” through programs such as PROMISE (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Support, and Education).
One of the program’s participants, Juvenile Court judge Elijah Williams, speaking at a 2013 signing ceremony for PROMISE, made it clear it was all about the stats:
We already bought the ticket. We are waiting for our numbers to come in. We know we have hit the jackpot when our school-related arrests go down, down down.
The collaborative agreement, signed by Runcie; Sheriff Scott Israel, now fully embroiled in his agency’s failure to get Cruz off the streets; state’s attorneys; the president of the Broward chapter of the NAACP; and many others, has the fundamental goal of keeping minority students involved in various “transgressions” away from law enforcement and out of the courts.
In one feature of PROMISE, Judge Williams circumvents the criminal justice system by participating in a simulated court hearing called “The Juvenile Justice System of Care,” where he encourages the delinquent student to participate in the program rather than risk arrest.
The Obama administration’s Department of Education was also involved in implementing PROMISE. Obama, who routinely dangled carrots in the form of matching federal grants to local districts for their participation in Common Core and Race to the Top, doled out millions to Broward.
With the promise of federal monies, it’s no surprise that Superintendent Runcie (annual salary: $335,000) was happy to oblige his friends in D.C. Within a year of Runcie’s arrival, student arrest rates were down 66 percent, and Broward County Schools were about to hit the federal jackpot.
On October 5, 2016, the School Board of Broward County Public Schools and its community partners signed the PROMISE agreement for the second time. After the 2016 signing, it was announced a couple of weeks later on October 18, BCPS was the only large urban district in the country to receive a Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education totaling $53,808, 909. One of the TIF’s grant priorities is listed as “improved life for students in poverty/students of color.”
The February 14 Parkland school shooting is shedding light on PROMISE, and now some officials in Broward are speaking out about the school district’s push to keep police out of the loop when crimes occur in schools. ”
Yet very few people seem to grasp the gravity of exactly what was done in Broward County. Many are advocating for more and continued and ever more intrusive government involvement. In a move straight out of 1984, many have even spoken of asking the FBI and local law enforcement to begin charging people with what they MIGHT do instead of actual crimes. Why would anyone want to give an agency that has shown repeatedly to have a significant political bias, no concept of human rights, or the Constitution the task of predicting future events? This leads to exceedingly bad places if one knows their history even slightly.
That is in effect what is being advocated for when those such as Brock and even Parkland students such as David Hogg demand disarmament or refuse to allow teachers to be armed in the classroom. Rather than recognizing that Parkland is an example of an epic failure of home, family, church, community, school, law enforcement, and others, many of these people are blaming inanimate and nonsentient objects.
It never seems to occur to many of these people that playing pass the buck can have dire consequences. People mean something and they are not garbage to be thrown away. The horrific events in Parkland, Florida demonstrate one thing loudly over and over and over again – WE HAVE FAILED! You and me, WE have failed a person, allowing him to be thrown away with no means or mechanism to cope and no mental capacity to deal with all life threw at him. Murderers are not born. They are created, created by hundreds of failures over the course of a 19-year-old boy’s life where a mother noted that her son needed mental health assistance, yet did nothing. A school resource officer named Scott Peterson noted that Cruz should be involuntarily committed for a mental health evaluation due to the danger he posed and many others. Yet no one did a thing. Everyone thought it was someone else’s problem. Perhaps had someone taken the time to care, to make Cruz their problem, to follow through 17 people would still be here and a 19-year-old boy would not be facing the end of his life so early and Brock would find something else to fuss about.
But I guess it is easier to let people down, pretend they are nothing, and simply walk away – safe in your sanctimonious outrage that “well it’s not me or mine….it doesn’t affect me or mine” and never stop to consider the long-reaching ramifications.