Published On: Sun, Mar 3rd, 2019

The Battle of Parkland: Help is on the Way

After the Massacre. The material on Parkland after the Massacre is a must read and I apologize for not placing it first.

Am I involved with people fighting the violence in communities across the United States?  I have helped people that went to Obama in 2008.  I have been with people working with Minister Louis Farrakhan to stop the violence on the streets.  I talk to Chicago police on a regular basis after Superintendent Johnson put his office in touch with me.  I attended the first National Black Violence Conference in Philadelphia just a few years ago and I have been a guest panelist in the African-American Museum in that city sitting next to Roy Campanella’s granddaughter, among other things.  And I made it possible for tens of thousands of people to pass their G.E.D. in the state of Florida in 2002, working with the office of Jeb Bush.

Is that Bernie Sanders on the steps of City Hall in New York City????? He does look and sound like Sanders, doesn’t he as he talks about the “revolution” in education and communities.  Nobody listens to me and the G.E.D. testing system did implode, caused by the Regents of the State of New York.  Watch the chairman of the education committee of New York City take over the meeting without even asking me.

We thank Marvin Thompson (may he rest in peace) for being my keynote speaker.  Marvin was the brother of Jam Master Jay, the rapper who was killed.  If you have not clicked the blue link above what are you waiting for?  It is a required course in itself.

Why would a Black man in the Dominican Republic working closely with the ambassador of the United States show me a photo on the wall of Frederic Douglas (and only Frederic Douglas) before walking me into a meeting with the ambassador?  I assume that he did his research and homework about me and my work.  After all, people have to be assigned to do background checks.  That is one way to keep a building secure.  Years later I feel honored and impressed by that stop at the wall.

Oh yes my website includes photos with Tiny Archibald who is one of the 50 Legends the N.B.A., Bobby Hunter who played with the Harlem Globetrotters back in the 1970s and who lives in Pompano, Florida, William Bell, the father of Sean Bell who was killed by members of the NYPD, Hilary Shelton, who is the head of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP, William Thompson who ran for mayor of New York City against Michael Bloomberg, and Marvis and Joe Frazier (the best meeting that I have ever had) in the boxing gym in Philadelphia.  And at that time there were hundreds of articles to read on the internet about my work and ideas.

That work is the past, but I am deeply connected with Parkland and my goal is to make things better for all (not for myself).  My articles about Parkland have been read all over the world.  And now is the time to stop this divide in Parkland by concentrating on the facts of the case.  Yes the governor of Florida has used a rule available to him to make things worse for Superintendent Runcie in the community.  He has not passed Alyssa’s Law which passed under a Democratic governor in New Jersey where panic buttons or buzzers will be placed in schools to get police to schools faster than ever in the history of the United States (does that sound like Trump, but not Trump).  Here on Long Island, there will be a panel discussion of “experts” including Congressman Pete King who has not answered my letter to him, Paul Guttenberg (uncle of a Parkland victim), former Congressman Steve Israel (moderator) who did not answer a tweet to him, heads of the county police of Nassau and Suffolk, and Dr. Kyleanne Hunter of Brady United Against Gun Violence.  Read how I wrote to Congressman Pete King, a Republican, who supports Trump’s mission which opposes the mission in Parkland and elsewhere.  Choose the wall or protecting children in our schools.

An Educational Report for Our Nation: Forget Trump’s School Choice

And in Nassau there was a meeting this weekend of community.  I know Carrie Solages and Theresa Sanders and they know my work.  How well?  I cannot say very well.  I wish I had been at that meeting to set the record straight.  They addressed The State of Black Inequality.  I regret that I will not be attending any meetings this week in Broward that involve Superintendent Runcie.

If these people are “experts” why haven’t things been done right all along.  Months ago I pointed out that a security officer in my community was sitting in a vehicle hundreds of yards from children on a class trip (Central Islip School District) in a field which has been made famous by MS-13 dumping four bodies there.  Is that an example of great security?

An email went out to the community with no supporting statements as the important issue of segregation was mentioned I assume by a Black employee of the district.

Regardless if the meeting were held about school safety or support for Runcie it is the right of people to come out and find out more about things, either formally or informally.

The reporter states that Black stakeholders  see ‘zero tolerance” for Black “office holders” presumably Runcie in this matter and Brenda Snipes.

Black voices are being “drowned out” or so it seems.  The vast majority are White in Parkland.

Senator Thurston says that a large cross-section of the county supports Runcie and business people were mentioned as supportive.  But are the efforts to put the blame on Runcie misplaced as the senator says?

Lori Alhadeff is critical about the slow spending on school security and she says this thinking about her daughter.  Is this statement true or false that the spending was slow?

Now we see that Runcie has been superintendent since 2011.  Taking into account a period of time to adjust to the school district and district to adjust to him, how effective has Runcie been all those years without even mentioning the Parkland Massacre?

The qualifications for the job listed by the reporter may have been the wrong qualification for the Parkland job as improving transportation in schools in Chicago does not seem like a good match.

The boycott of City Furniture does seem like the wrong tactic for someone who supports Runcie, but this is the age of potential boycotts over things and a better discussion of boycotts should take place.

Chris Smith says that people are out for blood now after the Massacre.  Is that the right comment at this moment?  But saying “Democrats are liars” is very provocative in the era of Donald Trump who is known for being a amazing liar.  The harm is done there.  Plus the meetings should not be political.

The Promise Program is for students with minor offenses and could be conceived as a great help in stopping the “school to prison pipeline” but what are the statistics for 2016 and prior to 2016 and where is 2017.

Then there is reporting about Nikolas Cruz perhaps and bullets brought to school, bullying, and vandalizing school property.  There are ten years old or young students bringing guns today to our nation’s school and surely those children are not going to be defined the same way as Nikolas Cruz or someone in Parkland who has brought a gun to school.

Back in the 1970s on a day that I was absent, two girls brought a gun to school to shoot someone.  And my former teacher who was dean told me that I was the target and nothing ever happened after that.  And no “school to prison pipeline” for the girls.

Since many more people attended unexpectedly, that got on people’s nerves even on Twitter.  Yes the public can participate if allowed to by the rules, but it also has to imagine the frustration of people who wished to participate and could not.

There are lots of statements made that many Parkland people feel that Runcie’s possible removal is or is not about race.  And some statement (s) made by African-Americans who wish to keep Runcie are not protective of him because of his race.

Runcie spoke about measures of security that are coming.  What has he said before and what has he done in the last year?  We need a time table.  When people tell him “it is not enough” what has actually been suggested, recommended, or said to him.  The community should know.

Then there is Bobby R. Henry, Jr. asking could it be that Runcie is Black?  It could be if there is evidence, but in the absence of evidence we do not know.  His question is interesting, but where is the evidence?   Also just being the only superintendent who might be fired after a major shooting would require us to “fair and accurate” in the matter.  Meaning did Bobby R. Henry, Jr. find out if the other superintendents in those shootings performed well in making the schools secure and in how much time.  In other words, were parents and community satisfied by the progress.  Also what took place before the shootings and during those shootings across our nation.

I know about racism in schools and it does work both ways.  Puerto Ricans in my old school district were fired who were out to get “Jews” and it was witnessed by a Mexican, a Sephardic Jew.  That is evidence based.  I witnessed an African-American businessman in Nassau County tell his audience that his company was Afro-centric in hiring and would keep out Hispanics (it was a library that needed renovation).

I have said nothing racist about Runcie, nor will I.  I need answers from people in the Parkland community and I have called Dr. Osgood and written to the NAACP in Ft. Lauderdale and nothing has come out of it.  We are all part of the problem and we are all part of the solution.

Martin Danenberg has been the teacher of the Consulate of El Salvador where word of his work reached the cabinet level in El Salvador. He has actively promoted education among the people of Guatemala and Honduras, two nations that support the idea of the United States embassy in Jerusalem. 

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