Important headlines for August 21st – Florida’s candidates for Governor push the limits of partisanship in our schools & communities
Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...
Excerpt: Amid intensifying criticism of the handling of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter by the sixth largest school system in the country, most of the Democratic candidates seeking the party’s nomination for governor appeared in South Florida as guest speakers alongside Runcie at a rally for teachers. Four of the five candidates answered the Miami Herald’s questions about Runcie, each pushing back on statements last week by Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Ron DeSantis that the superintendent should be removed from office.
Hot Take: Whatever your view of Robert Runcie happens to be – there's a lot in this story that’s endemic of what I perceive to be a growing problem. Increased partisanship with positions that shouldn’t be wrapped in partisan politics. The fate of Superintendent Robert Runcie is potentially a relevant issue for Gubernatorial candidates to address, given that they potentially could take action, or promise not to – on his future independent of what the school board decides to do. The problem is that using a school superintendent as a political wedge issue doesn’t serve anyone, except for perhaps the candidates themselves. There isn’t any particular offender – candidates on both sides of the isle are doing it. Just as there was a rush to judge Sheriff Israel’s outcome as well. For example, both DeSantis and Putnam have praised Governor Scott’s leadership generally, yet when asked about Sheriff Israel’s fate they were quick to say they’d have removed him already – despite Governor Scott not doing so and saying the FDLE investigation should conclude before considering removing an elected official. That’s something that’s awfully sensible and devoid of partisanship. That what’s lacking all over the place in the primaries for Governor. Among the Democrats, the only one who wasn’t quick to support Runcie was Jeff Greene, and the only reason he didn’t pledge support is because he really hadn’t thought about it.
I’m increasingly concerned about what’s happening with critical public officials being exploited for political gain with offices that really shouldn’t have anything to do with partisan politics being “issues” for voters to consider. In the case of Robert Runcie I don’t think he should be removed by any Governor, nor do I think he should have pledged support by any either. I think the voters who choose the school-board that determines his fate should be the ones to decide.
I don’t care about the political party of superintendents or law enforcement officials. I care about how well they do their job. I’m pretty sure that’s what most people think as well but unfortunately, we’re in an environment – that's challenging to push the limits of partisanship in our communities.