July 19, 2018

PRIORITIES: Battling an image problem, Broward schools seeks public relations exec for up to $175,000 a year.

The school district has suffered a number of public relations hits since the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, which left 17 people dead.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel has reported on how Stoneman Douglas under-reported crime on campus, how the school failed to provide adequate special education services to killer Nikolas Cruz; and how a culture of leniency has allowed unruly students to receive countless second chances.

The school district also struggled to defend its controversial PROMISE program, which offers alternatives to arrests for some misdemeanors. The district initially said Cruz was never eligible for the program, only to backtrack and said he started the program but failed to complete it for reasons no one could explain.

School Board members have complained that the district needs to be more aggressive in defending itself against negative news coverage.

Clearly, nothing more than bad PR is what ails Broward schools.

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