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Nancy Smith

The $100 Million Parkland Boondoggle Broward Schools Doesn't Want You to Hear

April 11, 2018 - 9:00pm

Kenneth Preston is another side of the Parkland shooting story. The hushed-up school-safety side.  

This 19-year-old home-schooled Broward County student isn't about guns, isn't interested in feeding into the election-year politics of any party's agenda, hasn't gathered admiring Hollywood friends to bankroll a national revolt.

All he's done since the Valentine's Day serial shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is spend more than 100 hours searching through thousands of pages of local government documents that most taxpayers would never dream of reading. 

He's spoken with dozens of school and law enforcement officials, parents of victims and members of the media. The kind of investigation you would expect only from a well-trained special prosecutor.

I Beg to Differ

The story first was reported by DML News but avoided by most mainstream media who chose instead to expend their resources on the Washington anti-guns march.

Immediately after the story became public, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie tweeted out a message calling it "fake news." 

What Preston alleges is that the Broward school system, superintendent and School Board members in particular, are directly responsible for shooter Nikolas Cruz and the student and teacher deaths not only by their liberal policies, but by holding back money directly intended to address school safety.

Preston has written a stunning report. Read it here, as posted by TheHill.com.

Not only does the young man reveal how the district deals with students who fall into the PROMISE program, and how students with the worst crimes imaginable are eligible in many cases to be placed back into the mainstream, he dives into the money trail that leads to questions about the amount of potential corruption that might be festering within the sixth largest school district in America.

Here's an excerpt from Preston's report:

“In 2014, Superintendent Runcie successfully convinced Broward residents to vote on $800 million in bonds for Broward County Public Schools to invest back into the schools. According to The Qualification Selection Evaluation Committee (QSEC), an anti-corruption measure, there should be a committee of 11 people, five of whom are members from the public, that would decide what companies were given lucrative contracts to manage that $800,000,000 in voter approved projects. 

"Just a year later, Runcie, who was tasked with bringing transparency to the board, moved to bypass those anti-corruption measures by removing members of the public from voting on who received the contracts. School Board member Robin Bartleman opposed removing the public from the decisions saying, 'It’s going to be an issue.' She went on to say, 'Stuff like this snowballs. Things like this get out of control. I’ve seen it before.'"

Preston points out the board was given roughly $104 million in public grants to secure the schools in 2014, but as of 2018 only $5 million had been spent, leaving nearly $100 million unaccounted for. Where did the money go?

Preston has been holding back his report from public consumption. He wanted to wait until Tuesday's School Board meeting to make it all public. He had planned to appear with Andy Pollack, father of slain Stoneman student Meadow Pollack, and six others. But Runcie and the board foiled him.

"... Moments before the April 10 hearing was to begin," reported DML News in a Wednesday story, "the board took action to reject seven of the speakers the 19-year-old had brought with him to help defend his report, some of them (like Andy Pollack) family members of victims in the Stoneman shooting. Furthermore, Preston was limited to three minutes of presentation time versus the original six minutes he was scheduled."

Amid a packed audience of Parkland community members, Preston spoke for just over two minutes at the board meeting. Instead of trying to tell the report's full story in a couple of sound bytes, he talked about the unsavory events of the day before the meeting, when Runcie called him into his office for a meeting to discuss his findings.

Preston said he asked Runcie ahead of time if he could tape-record their conversation; the superintendent said no. He asked if he could bring an attorney; the superintendent again said no. 

But Runcie showed up to the meeting with 10 school district representatives, "making it an ambush-style meeting that lasted two-hours." According to Preston, the meeting was an attempt to “reeducate him” about what he learned during his investigation.

In his report, Preston references the PROMISE program prominently, which Sunshine State News first exposed as a Broward Schools' favorite in a story Feb. 28.  He says PROMISE makes it so school districts must limit the punishments and reporting to authorities of unruly and or criminal students if they are minorities. If they fail to abide by the PROMISE program practices, the district risks losing grant money from the federal government.

Oh, yes, and Preston has evidence criminal students with a history of rape and severe violence are permitted to attend public schools in Broward.

It beats me why, two months after the mass slaying, this alleged behavior on the part of Broward school officials isn't major national news. Think of how many school systems could learn from the mistakes made here. Don't taxpayers/parents deserve to know?

Kenneth Preston should have our thanks for his ruthless persistence in his senior year of high school. So, too, should Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers for insisting on a very thorough dissection of all forces at work in the Parkland tragedy.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

Comments

Home school kids are different. thank God. Biblical, eternal world view. This generation is going to need them. Without God you cannot tell me why you exist are why you die. This a Goddlest generation with no hope. Told they are just random cosmic dust.

Why would anyone trust God when he let this happen? you sound like a big dummy.

God gave us Free Will. It’s how we use it that matters.

although i do not disagree with you, i believe your point would have been better made without the spelling errors.

God bless and keep safe this young man who found all this corruption, and I pray someone with authority gets ahold of this information and takes the measures needed to correct this injustice, in Jesus name, meanwhile protect the students in this and all other counties in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Do some reasearch folks. Mr. Bill Cooper told us their plan to have school shootings years ago in his book "Behold a Pale Horse". Oddly he was gunned down by "law enforcement" in his own home. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

Just another symptom of the Communist Corruption that is running wild in our Country. Part of the corruption is their not exposing this sham to the Public! The Democrat/Socialist/Communists mummify/Globalists are trying to tear our Country all art by chaos. These Evil People must be defeated!!! It is time to Make America Great Again!!!

Excellent article! One might also ask, how much in advance did David the Hog get his permits for the "march?" I definitely smell a rat here; a really smelly one.

Please do not be mean to the people who are making dumb remarks about him being homeschooled. They are the product of gov' mint programming and, bless their hearts, don't understand what real education is.

I know 1 week after Att Gen Holder instructied schools to stop over charging minority’s w/ so many serious charges versus other students Ihad a thug assault a girl I called in a report & requested a counselor & or resource officer/ LCSO upon arrival at Eustis Middle School continuous phone & radio calls went completely ignored next day the kid was on the bus route

I know 1 week after Att Gen Holder instructied schools to stop over charging minority’s w/ so many serious charges versus other students Ihad a thug assault a girl I called in a report & requested a counselor & or resource officer/ LCSO upon arrival at Eustis Middle School continuous phone & radio calls went completely ignored next day the kid was on the bus route

The School Safety Act establishes a Commission to fully investigate all the factors involved. Take him before this Commission .

Let's hope this doesn't fade into oblivion like so many other government crimes of late. This young man has my thanks for his diligence and courage. To quote Thomas Jefferson " One man with courage is a majority." This is the perfect example,

So this kid has given up on his "home-schooled" education to research this? His parents should be investigated for neglect.

Doing this research and writing the report is part of his education.

seriously your a moron,and part of the problem

seriously your a moron,and part of the problem

He’s an adult and obviously has had a much better education than a public school would have given him. His parents should be proud.

You can’t be serious?!?! Yes, he is 19 but could still be in school. That is beside the point, research and investigation is EDUCATIONAL!!! I can’t believe this is all you could come up with. Pathetic!

Many college classes are online, he is probably continuing his education this way instead of having to deal with all the stupidity and political correctness at colleges and universities....

Please tell me this is in jest. He is 19 years old now.

give this young man a JOB..investigating ..ALL democrat run towns & counties....YOU got a Great Future Ahead....and Nancy Great Story...KEEP FOUNDING & REPORTING on How this Young Man keeps his Investigations on Broward Co...

He won't have much of a future if he ignores his studies to do whatever he likes. His parents should be investigated for neglecting his education, evidently they're not doing much "home schooling".

You clearly don’t know anything about homeschooling. This boy has researched and interviewed people WHILE doing his other work I’m sure. Just this report that he came up with alone is proof that this boy is very well educated. You have a chip on your shoulder about homeschoolers and are taking it out on this very smart boy. He does not fit your homeschooler idea of an uneducated unsocialized awkward kid. There are a LOT of homeschool kids who are like him. Go talk to colleges a lot of professors like the homeschoolers the best because they are educated, respectful, hard working kids. If school shootings, bullying, sexual harassment continues in school you are going see a lot more homeschoolers. Shoot, these kids can self educate better than the schools are and they don’t have to worry about being shot at, raped, or bullied. They can self educate in their pj’s and be done by noon and have a better education. Then they have the rest of the day to socialize.

Some people should be investigated for "chronic stupidity"....(That's you 'MIKE')

What has governor Scott or Pam Bondi done, except to defer to the FDLE to investigate this horrific crime. Where are the ballistic analysis reports? How long will they leave the corrupt Broward Sheriff in office to intimidate potential witnesses along with corrupt Runcie? A Broward sheriff's deputy, who by all accounts was in perfect health and "loved Jesus," "was the life of the party," and did lots of good deeds was found dead on the couch in his home on April 1. His crime? He warned people in a facebook post to beward of those who would used the MSD shooting to advance an anti-gun agenda. We must relentlessly pursue Scott and Bondi until this sheriff and school board Chairman Runcie are removed from office WITHOUT PAY! https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2018/04/09/dead-at-42-broward-county-sheriff-deputy-who-questioned-parkland-school-shootings-gun-control-agenda/

What an outstanding young man! I agree, someone should give him a scholarship!! Also, it sounds like to me that criminal charges should be filed!!!!

What an outstanding young man! I agree, someone should give him a scholarship!! Also, it sounds like to me that criminal charges should be filed!!!!

GREAT reporting, Nancy. This is an extraordinary piece, full of concrete facts we all need to know and respond to through social media and other avenues--not the least of which is votes when school board members come up for election again. Thank you so much. My prayers go up for this talented young man. This is the type of young person who gives us hope for the future of our country.

Such admiration we have for this young man, Kenneth Preston and his parents who raised a wonderful son. Thank you.

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