Robert Runcie, Head of Florida’s Broward County School District Where Deadly Parkland School Shooting Took Place, to Resign Amid Criticism and Perjury Charge

FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie addresses the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, in Sunrise, Fla. Runcie was arrested Wednesday, April 21, 2021, by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. An indictment says Runcie lied while testifying three weeks ago before a grand jury investigating circumstances surrounding the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (Susan Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

The South Florida superintendent overseeing Broward County schools has offered to resign amid continuing criticism over the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a perjury charge from a statewide grand jury.

Robert Runcie’s offer late Tuesday came hours after he released a video statement saying he would be cleared of the perjury charge and would not step down. The district’s top lawyer also resigned on Tuesday night. Both were indicted by a grand jury last week.

In new paperwork filed Wednesday, Runcie pleaded not guilty to the charge and requested a trial by jury. He also filed a motion to dismiss the case, calling it “vague, indefinite and uncertain as to embarrass and hinder the defendant in the preparation of defendant’s defense and in the event of conviction or acquittal, would subject the defendant to multiple trials on the same circumstances.”

Runcie, 59, led the nation’s sixth largest school district for nearly 10 years and had been lauded for closing the achievement gap between white and minority students. He had also been named superintendent of the year multiple times by both state and national organizations.

But the Valentine’s Day shooting at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland in 2018 ultimately led to his downfall. Seventeen people were killed, and the parent of one victim and the wife of another now serve on the school board.

Board member Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed, has been one of Runcie’s toughest critics, asking the board to fire him in 2019. That vote failed 6-3.

“We need strong leadership, terminating now without cause gives us time before the next school year to do a national search for a new superintendent,” Alhadeff said.

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