As Twitchy reported this weekend, former Education Secretary Arne Duncan described as “brilliant, and tragically necessary” a suggestion that every parent in America pull their children out of school until gun laws are changed “to keep them safe.”

Duncan went on MSBNC to discuss the nationwide school boycott, which he described as radical and “intentionally provocative.”

But as long as we’re talking (only) about additional gun control legislation that will change nothing, let’s talk about some other things that might be changed to keep school children safe. The NRA’s Dana Loesch, for one, named the PROMISE program as a problem that needs fixing.

PROMISE, created in 2013, stands for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education. In other words, it kept students who broke the law out of the justice system. And yes, Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz was one of those involved in the PROMISE program.

The Miami Herald reported earlier this month:

Questions about the program surfaced quickly after the shooting, as media began to pore over Cruz’s disciplinary history and details emerged that showed law enforcement had repeatedly been warned of his violent thoughts and behaviors. For some Parkland parents, and particularly for conservatives who believed that lapses in safety-net systems were more to blame for the shooting than the semi-automatic rifle Cruz used in the shooting, the PROMISE program became an important part of the picture.

The program allows students who commit any of 13 specific misdemeanors at school to avoid getting involved with the criminal justice system. Instead, they attend the alternative school, where they receive counseling and other support. PROMISE was created in 2013 in response to concerns over the district’s number of student arrests, and evidence that students, in particular minorities, LGBTQ students and students with disabilities were being disproportionately charged criminally for minor offenses.

Getting the PROMISE program out of schools makes a lot more sense than pulling every public school student in America out of school until Congress passes … what, exactly?

Yep. It’s infuriating to see how many red flags were ignored or dismissed in the Parkland shooter’s case.


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