Runcie Led the Elimination of Florida’s Statewide School Safety Hotline Law

Recent reports have revealed the existence of Broward County’s “Promise Program“, first begun in 2013, whereby Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, Sheriff Scott Israel, the Chief Judge of the Judicial Court, the State’s Attorney, the Public Defender, local police departments and the NAACP entered into a “Collaborative Agreement” to statistically reduce juvenile recrimination by simply covering it up within the public school system.  This program evolved on the heels of a similar program initiated circa 2012 by Miami-Dade County Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, whose school district and police department also covered up student juvenile crime simply to improve his school district’s statistics.  (See B&B’s “Did Superintendent Patton Import a Cover-Up Policy from Miami-Dade” 2/20/2018″).

These “Promise”-type programs rely upon the ability of a county’s local school district and law enforcement to work hand-in-hand to cover up student criminal activity, transforming crimes into lesser school punishments that remain publicly undisclosed by virtue of student privacy laws.

In 2012, an opportunity to eliminate Florida State regulations in the area of crime and school safety fell into the lap of Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie.

Continue reading “Runcie Led the Elimination of Florida’s Statewide School Safety Hotline Law”

A Reply to Collier School District’s Safety Update #4

From: Steve Bracci
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 3:34 PM
To: Patton, Kamela
Cc: Lichter, Kelly; Donalds, Erika; lucars@collierschools.com; cartee1@collierschools.com;  terryro@collierschools.com
Subject: CCPS Safety Update #4

Superintendent Patton:

In other words, “Protect the Patton Administration from Criticism, Stifle Free Speech, Paint the People as Liars.”

I am confused. Safety Update #2 said the slogan was “If You See Something, Say Something.”

I take it that “Don’t spread it” was needed to protect the District from well-founded public criticism?

The best defense against a government that is not doing its job properly is free speech and petitions for redress of grievances.

Steve Bracci

 

From: Collier County Public Schools
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 1:07 PM
To: Collier County Public Schools Recipients <recipients@collier.parentlink.net>
Subject: CCPS Safety Update #4

CCPS SAFETY UPDATE #4

Collier County Public Schools and Collier County Law Enforcement agencies launch “See It? Say It! Don’t Spread It, Report It” safety campaign

February 20, 2018

Keeping Collier County Public Schools safe is everyone’s business. False information on social media or online rumors can cause further fear or concern. DON’T SPREAD IT, REPORT IT!

We need students, staff, parents, and community members to remain vigilant in identifying any potential school safety threats. In an effort to expedite reporting of suspicious activity, we are launching the “KEEP COLLIER SAFE” initiative .

If you see something suspicious in person or online, whether it be written or verbal, please make sure you say something. Most importantly, if you see something that concerns you or looks like a possible threat of school violence, please report it. No concern is too small.

On Collier County Public Schools’ “KEEP COLLIER SAFE” webpage (www.collierschools.com/keepcolliersafe), you can click the REPORT IT button and send your tip directly to law enforcement. You will also find videos that have 10 tips for parents on keeping their kids safe on social media, and 7 tips for students to stay safe on social media. We have also provided a section that includes resources to help talk to your child about violence.

Parents, please check what your students are bringing to school and monitor student communications and social media accounts (for example: Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook).

The best defense against school violence is heightened awareness and vigilance by all. If you See It? Say It! Don’t Spread It, Report It!

Thank you.

Kamela Patton, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Did Superintendent Patton Import a “Cover-Up” Policy from Miami-Dade?

Two recently reported incidents involving allegations of potential criminal sexual wrongdoing within the Collier County School District had a similar result.  The Collier County Sheriff’s office found insufficient evidence to prosecute, and the matters were referred back to Collier County Public Schools for internal investigation and little-or-no penalties.

  • May 2017 Golden Gate High School investigation into alleged teacher sexual assault on underage student.  Student-victim allegedly confirms the sex acts.  Result:  Teacher is back teaching at Golden Gate High School.  See Bolduc and Bracci post, linked here.
  • December 2017 Manatee Middle School investigation into bus driver allegedly texting sexual messages to a minor student over a period of months, going so far as to ask whether the student will meet the bus driver in a park.  Result:  Sheriff finds no criminality, CCPS suspends but doesn’t fire the bus driver.  See Parents Rock post, linked here.

In one other case not referred to law enforcement, the following allegedly occurred:

  • 2015-16 and January 2018 East Naples Middle School teacher investigation. According to a Naples Daily News story, students allegedly observe their classroom teacher “‘looking for a hot date’ and ‘free online chat dating,’ as well as viewing an image of a “penis.” Result:  On June 3, 2016, Superintendent Patton issues a “letter of reprimand,” the teacher is given a 3 day suspension, is told by the Superintendent that “viewing images not related to your instructional duties during instructional time is completely unacceptable,” and is allowed back in the classroom.  Fast-forward to January 2018, and allegedly something similar happens.  Teacher is allowed to “resign” instead of being fired, apparently allowing the teacher to avoid a black mark on his record, and thus, eligible to teach elsewhere.  See Naples Daily News story, linked here.

These incidents have something in common – criminality is being deflected by the Sheriff, and CCPS is soft-pedaling its internal investigations and penalties.

Perhaps there is more to this.

Superintendent Patton came to our community from Miami-Dade County Public Schools.  Miami-Dade is where Patton groomed herself toward a superintendent position.  Published research alleges that around the same time that Patton arrived in Collier County in 2011, Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s administration was engaged in a police program that intentionally covered up criminal activity within his school district, keeping it from the public by converting student criminal matters into internal educational matters which the public could not access.  Then, Carvalho’s administration publicly bragged about how the Miami-Dade Public Schools had statistically reduced juvenile delinquency, when really his administration was just covering it up.  This was all exposed when the Trayvon Martin murder became a national news story in 2012, and people started looking into Martin’s prior transgressions while a Miami-Dade student.

Please read this story about Miami-Dade linked here, and compare it to much of what now happens in our Collier County School District:

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/03/10/trayvons-legacy-miami-dade-county-school-board-lawyers-now-evaluating-legal-risk-pending-final-foia-release/

According to the article:

Chief Hurley was following the orders of School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho to hide the criminal activity of black male student offenders.

*  *  *

Reports were falsified, evidence was concealed/destroyed, and in some cases hidden within the evidence/property room – intentionally not investigated. In the case of Trayvon Martin, the stolen jewelry within his backpack was just shipped for storage to a property room without a police report and listed as randomly “found property”.

This is one example of how young black male students were diverted away from the criminal justice system. Not by correcting the behavior, but by falsely documenting the activity and then using school discipline to replace criminal adjudication.

The M-DSPD never investigated student crime when it was carried out by young black males.  And in the case of Trayvon Martin, they took it several steps further, they concealed criminal conduct, hid stolen merchandise, and actively worked to cover it up.

Why ?

Superintendent Carvalho instructed Chief Hurley to do it to improve statistics.   Merely to improve statistics.   But what they ended up doing was actually illegal.”

So the Miami-Dade Superintendent reportedly instructed his administration and the police department to intentionally conceal criminal conduct to improve school district statistics. 

A superintendent obsessed with dramatically improving school district statistics – does that sound familiar?

It happened in Miami-Dade.  Could this also be happening here in Collier County, with all of these threats that are going criminally uncharged, and allegations of sexual predation that are being redirected by law enforcement investigators back to CCPS?  Is there an orchestrated effort to save face for Patton’s school district administration, redirecting investigations back to CCPS which then result in little or no penalty, with the CCPS employees being allowed back into the school system, or being “asked to resign” so they are free to teach elsewhere?

Take, for instance, the East Naples Middle School investigation.  The Superintendent reportedly summarized that the teacher was merely “viewing images not related to your instructional duties during instructional time.”  That’s it??  The teacher allegedly exposed his students to an image of a male penis in his classroom.  Reducing this down to “viewing images not related to instructional duties” is seemingly itself a cover-up, as in the case of Miami-Dade’s handling of the Trayvon Martin case in Miami-Dade, where Carvahlo’s administrators referred to Martin’s possession of marijuana as “tobacco products,” and his possession of stolen jewelry as just “found items.”

In the instance of the criminal investigations referenced above, why was there no criminality?  Consider the Manatee Middle School bus driver case.  If a bus driver texting a middle schooler asking to meet in a park does not constitute a crime, why didn’t the Sheriff’s office set up a “sting” by using the student’s phone to accept the invitation and have someone meet the bus driver in the park, thereby establishing the illicit intent?  Instead, the Sheriff’s office reportedly just referred it back to CCPS, for a mere “suspension” of the bus driver.

Overall, Sheriff Rambosk runs an effective sheriff’s organization.  But for some reason, when it comes to CCPS-related criminal investigations, Rambosk’s detectives are repeatedly finding that “there’s no there there.”  Why is that?

Is “Superintendent-of-the-Year” Patton, like her former boss Alberto Carvalho, more concerned about her own statistical track record on incidents involving student safety and sexual predation, such that Patton’s administration is willing to bury these incidents to avoid negative publicity?

Miami-Dade ultimately was pressured by outside forces into doing an investigation of its practices, exposing its improprieties.

Perhaps it’s time for the people of Collier County to demand the same of Patton’s Collier County School District.

***Update to Story***: 

In a Naples Daily News article on Feb. 19, 2018 titled “Barron Collier Student Who Wrote Hit Removed From School,” it was reported that:

“A Collier County Public School student who wrote a hit list, shooting plan and suicide note has been removed from his school and is under law enforcement supervision, according to a joint statement released by the school district and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators determined the threat was not credible and said last week the case had been closed.

But on Monday a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said the investigation is open and that witnesses are still being interviewed.”

*  *  *

“The Sheriff’s Office decided not to arrest the student but issued the author a juvenile civil citation, a pre-arrest diversion program, according to reports.”

If I understand Annika Hammerschlag’s article correctly, it seems to be saying that the Sheriff’s investigation was closed and that there was a determination of no significant threat despite a published hit list including the names of 27 individuals, until the night of Sunday, February 18, when the recent events of the Broward County school massacre, followed by a huge uprising of discontent in our community against the CCSO/CCPS as reported here and on Parents Rock (14,000+ views in one weekend alone), resulted in a re-opening of the investigation.  Why did it take a shooting at another Florida shooting for our local leaders to spring into action?   Seemingly, this investigation was reopened not because it was the right thing to do, but because recent events and bad publicity gave them no other choice.

Incidentally, the issuance of “juvenile civil citations” rather than criminal arrests is the same pattern of policing that was orchestrated between Carvalho’s Miami-Dade School District and its police department back around 2012.

A Reply to Collier School District’s Safety Update #3

From: Steve Bracci
Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 6:52 PM
To: Patton, Kamela <patton@collierschools.com>
Cc: ‘Lichter, Kelly’; Donalds, Erika; Lucarelli, Stephanie; Carter, Erick; Terry, Roy
Subject: CCPS Safety Update #3

Superintendent Patton – this appears to be overt cover for your administration’s reported failure to provide a Youth Relations Deputy at Manatee Middle School, despite repeated requests from now-released Principal Pam Vicaryous.  Was the Patton Administration playing games with student safety at Manatee Middle School to isolate a high-performing principal who fell into disfavor with the District’s pals at the Teacher’s Union?  This issue is presently boomeranging big time against the District throughout the community, and is exposing the Patton Administration for the petty gamesmanship that it may have been playing, even at the risk of student safety.

In response to your e-mail below, through research bolducandbracci.com has  uncovered possible unusual activity by your administration as to a pattern of prior investigations involving student safety which call into question why certain past investigations may have been jointly processed by CCSO and CCPS without significant penalty or repercussion.  Stay tuned to bolducandbracci.com for that report.

You might also want to pay attention to the Parents Rock Facebook page, which just this weekend alone has 14,000+ views because our community is so concerned about how your Administration has seemingly failed our community in its past investigations, particularly as to the Manatee Middle school bus driver’s texting with a student.

Your administration is apparently now in full damage control mode.  Our community is not stupid.  We can see your administration’s kneejerk reaction for what it is.  Yes, student safety is important and the CCSO and CCPS need to be vigilant.  But in my opinion, your administration is also presently covering for itself.

The community is waking up, and the wizard behind the curtain is being exposed.

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci

 

From: Collier County Public Schools
Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 6:00 PM
To: Collier County Public Schools Recipients <recipients@collier.parentlink.net>
Subject: CCPS Safety Update #3

CCSO, CCPS  and Collier Law Enforcement Agencies Announce Enhanced Safety Plan February 18, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk and Collier County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton, along with Naples Police Chief Tom Weschler, Marco Island Police Chief Al Schettino and campus police of Florida SouthWestern State College and their respective staffs continued to work over the weekend to develop an enhanced school safety plan to help everyone feel safe when they return to class Monday morning.

This is in addition to enhancements that were put into place in Collier County schools immediately after Wednesday’s school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County and is in addition to the long-standing partnership between CCPS and CCSO that has kept our schools safe for many years.

All Collier County public schools will have at least one Youth Relations Bureau deputy assigned to it full time and these assignments will be reassessed regularly and incorporated into strategic staffing plans in upcoming budgets.  In addition, there will be increased law enforcement visibility at all public, private and charter schools as well as on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office still has open and active investigations relating to the social media posts, statements and threats made recently relating to our schools. CCSO takes these investigations very seriously. The students involved in the incidents that are under investigation have been removed from school pending the outcome of the investigations and are under law enforcement observation.

It is especially important for everyone in the community to report suspicious or unusual activity to law enforcement. Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity can call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477.

We will make additional safety updates for our community as information comes available.

Also, students should be aware that making threats, even over social media, can result in serious consequences including arrest and we ask that parents have this very important discussion with their kids.

Kamela Patton,
Ph.D. Superintendent Collier County Public Schools

A Reply to the Collier School District’s Statement Following the Florida School Massacre

From: Steve Bracci
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2018 7:17 PM
To: Patton, Kamela
Cc: ‘Lichter, Kelly’; Donalds, Erika; ‘lucars@collierschools.com’; ‘cartee1@collierschools.com’; ‘terryro@collierschools.com’
Subject: CCPS Safety Update #2

Superintendent Patton – I find this disingenuous.  You now suddenly say “If you see something, say something.”  But from what I can tell, your administration is still holding back information from parents and students.  This includes information that has not yet been generally circulated through the community, or even amongst those who more frequently advocate their interests.

You say that you cannot provide certain information due to student privacy concerns.  What happens when those concerns manifest themselves in a way that may place other students in that same school at risk?  Do the individual student’s privacy concerns then trump the other students’ rights to safety, security, and a knowing self-defense which may include a decision not to attend school on a certain day or days based on existing circumstances?  It seems the District can still warn the parents of the other students, while at the same time adhering to individual privacy rights.  From what I can tell, the District fails students and parents in this regard.

It is troubling that the District does not disclose information about existing threats to the parents of students at the schools that are directly related to the threat.  In essence, you are expecting that we entrust all of our childrens’ safety in your hands, rather than having an opportunity to making our own risk assessment before our children are sent into the care of the school on a particular day.

I suggest you get a handle on this in a way that incudes meaningful input from the community, because all of the current reports, disclosures, anecdotes, rumors and speculations circulating throughout our community as to students’ general physical safety and risk of sexual predation within CCPS, combined with a joint CCPS/CCSO approach that seemingly turns a blind eye to much of this, leaves parents and students with many unanswered questions and concerns.

How will you also now safeguard our students from these same threats as they circulate through the community at large while participating in the “mentorship” and “outreach” programs of all the various non-government organizations that have now woven themselves into the strategic plan of CCPS?

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci

From: Collier County Public Schools <info@collierschools.com>
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2018 4:28 PM
To: Collier County Public Schools Recipients
Subject: CCPS Safety Update #2

February 16, 2018

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We are mindful of the difficult events that have unfolded over the last few days. The safety of our students and staff remains a top priority of the District and all threats are taken seriously and immediately investigated. We remain in constant communication with our law enforcement partners to make sure each student and staff member remains safe. All threats, verbal, written, and electronic (for example, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter), are immediately reported to law enforcement. We cannot provide information regarding individual incidents pertaining to student discipline and placement since it is part of the academic record which is protectable from disclosure under Federal and State law.

Please know that teachers, counselors, and administrators at schools are available to support students. Students should reach out to an adult with any questions or concerns. We need the collective support of parents and other caring adults in students’ lives to monitor their written and electronic communications. We encourage students, parents, and the entire community to be proactive in keeping our children safe. “If You See Something, Say Something.” No concern is too small. Please remind your children of this message as we do in school. For more resources on how to support children, particularly at times like this, please click here to visit our CCPS Safety Information page.

Kamela Patton, Ph.D. Superintendent Collier County Public Schools

Vote “No” to Permanent Daylight Savings Time in Florida

An e-mail to Rep. Byron Donalds asking him to vote “no” to the hastily-planned legislation to make Daylight Savings Time permanent in Florida. 

From: Steve Bracci
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2018 2:11 PM
To: ‘Byron.donalds@myfloridahouse.gov’ <Byron.donalds@myfloridahouse.gov>
Subject: Vote “No” to Permanent Daylight Savings Time

Byron – please vote “no” to Permanent Daylight Savings Time.  It will make Florida fatter and lazier.  Legislators are apparently focusing on longer evenings.  But those of us who are motivated to stay in shape by getting outside early in the morning, will now have to do it in perpetual darkness, or simply quit altogether.  Sunrise at 8:00 a.m.??

More biking accidents, running accidents, other mischief towards those trying to get some early morning outdoor exercise.

Do school times have to adjust next for a later start time to avoid students waiting in pitch darkness at bus stops?  Of course, if the schools push back their school start times an hour, then the school end times will also get pushed back.  Wouldn’t that then negate the “longer evening” argument?

The fact that this is rushing through both houses so quickly seems to have more to do with a bunch of legislators sowing their oats because they have “the power to change time,” than it has to do with any real merit.  Where are the studies?  From what I read, it’s entirely based on Sen. Steube going to the barbershop to get his hair cut.

See article:

https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/local/florida/2018/01/25/florida-daylight-saving-time-all-year-could-happen/1065301001/

This is a waste of legislative time.  Much bigger problems to solve.

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci

Congrats to Kamela Patton! Superintendent of the Year Twice in Two Months!!

Hello after a bit of a hiatus!

Congratulations to Superintendent Kamela Patton on being named the Florida Education Music Association’s Superintendent of the Year because she used to play the flute. Also because Patton changed STEM to STEAM a couple years ago (following Sports Club’s lead who had made that change a year before Patton).

Bolduc & Bracci was not aware that the school district did not have music before STEM became STEAM two years ago (adding the “A” for art).  Thank God Patton changed the name!  Kind of like Blue Zones – remember how our schools and community never had wellness or walking until Blue Zones came along and saved us all?

It is no wonder Patton received such an award given this “Patton’s Big Adventure” video produced at the taxpayer’s expense by Patton’s Ministry of Propaganda also known as the “Communications Department,” transforming Patton from mere mortal into superhero:

B&B cannot decide which award is more prestigious – the “Star” Superintendent award Patton received in November because she helped students fill out financial aid forms, or this new award because Patton used to play the flute.

B&B ponders whether our community will ever honor Principal Hull of Mason Classical Academy for that institution’s actual classroom excellence (we are not sure if Principal Hull ever played the flute though).

Patton must really feel fulfilled, especially when the awards she receives are from associations where she or one of her pals serves as a board member.  Nothing like a little self-awarding!

Stay tuned to B&B for a few “awards” of our own………..

 

Collier County Has Lost Its Mind on Affordable Housing

Collier County Commissioners have voted to reinstitute an affordable housing trust fund.  It would have a “linkage fee” that developers have to pay, theoretically “linking” their project to the work force that  must serve it.

Commercial-retail-industrial developers would have to pay $1 per square foot toward the fund.

Residential developers would have to either donate land, construct 15% of their project on-site as affordable housing, or donate a whopping $200,000 per unit for those 15% of units toward the trust fund!

This is utter insanity.  These theoretician-bureaucrats have no clue about business, pro forma budgeting, or profit margins.  They see developers as a cow they can just milk for their benefit, failing to recognize when the milk cow has become a beef cow for slaughter.

This is also an indirect tax on the people of Collier County, including business owners and customers who will be paying higher prices for goods and services to cover the increased rent businesses pay for a Landlord’s pass-through cost of the trust fund surcharge.

Collier County has lost its mind on affordable housing.  Government intervention in the marketplace typically backfires and leads to further distortions.  Left alone, the marketplace will adjust on its own.

There has been lots of discussion of an affordable housing problem – but where is the study backed by meaningful data showing the need?  Doesn’t that come first?

E-mail to Superintendent Patton: “Why Do You Propagandize School Test Scores?”

On August 21, the School District published an Assessment Brief regarding its Cambridge advanced testing scores for students.  (click here).   The Assessment Brief “highlights” those subjects where district students performed well, but fails to mention the low scoring subjects.  In follow-up, Steve Bracci sent the below e-mail to Superintendent Patton:

From: Steve Bracci
Sent: Thursday, August 24, 2017 9:27 AM
To: ‘Kamela Patton’ <patton@collierschools.com>
Cc: ‘Roy Terry’, ‘Erika Donalds’, ‘Kelly Lichter’, ‘Erick Carter’, ‘Stephanie Lucarelli’
Subject: Cambridge test results

Superintendent Patton –

Why do you repeatedly insist on propagandizing the district’s scores?  The Cambridge AICE scores you posted on the website are an example.  You cherry-picked the “highlights” showing the top scoring categories, but overlook the categories where the District does poorly. (25% in Biology, 36% in History, 29% in English literature, 0% in Chemistry, 0% in Math).

In fact, in each of these non-highlighted categories, the district’s test performance dramatically decreased year-over-year in these core subjects:

Biology dropped from 33% to 25%
History dropped from 38% to 36%
English Lit dropped from 56% to 29%
Chemistry dropped from 30% to 0 %
Math dropped from 29% to 0%

http://www.collierschools.com/cms/lib/FL01903251/Centricity/Domain/4/2017AICEAssessmentBriefing.pdf

By your strategy, it seems you think the public is either (i) too stupid or (ii) too lazy to read the data that follows the highlights.  It also seems you are more interested in “marketing” the school district than real classroom success.  Sad!

Sincerely, Steve Bracci

This is posted not to criticize the performance of students or teachers, but rather, to demonstrate the dysfunctionality of a behemoth school district administration that is so hell-bent on aggrandizing its own image, that it distorts the truth about school-based performance.  If Superintendent Patton feels the need to twist statistics to show constant success, without recognizing areas where there needs to be improvement, then Patton is the problem, not the solution.

Those who support the Superintendent without calling out such falsehoods are engaging in politics of an unhealthy sort, with an agenda of protecting the Superintendent at all costs, at the sake of student performance.