An elementary school principal whose daughter was killed in the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, says Broward County Public Schools attempted to dock her pay for the time she took to grieve her daughter following the massacre.
April Schentrup, principal at Pembroke Pines Elementary, told School Board members the district tried to dock her pay for time she took to grieve her daughter Carmen, one of 17 killed during the Feb. 14 massacre.
Schentrup added that when she requested time off following her daughter’s death, Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie informed her that being a principle “was not a part-time job, and that other options were not available, as reassigning me might appear as favoritism, since MSD staff had to return to their school.”
“In my absence I requested a full time interim principal and discussed my options for a leave,” she said. “Mr. Runcie was quick to say that being a principal was not a part-time job.”
Schentrup told local outlets that not a single person on the nine-member school board sent her condolences following her daughter’s death until May 8 – nearly three months after the shooting. Superintendent Robert Runcie did come to the house, she noted, but said he maintained that the school system had “done everything right” the day of the shooting.
Schentrup and her husband, Philip, said Stoneman Douglas Principal Ty Thompson refused to meet with them to talk about security plans, which the couple alleges the school violated on Feb. 14 by leaving the school gates open a full 20 minutes without monitoring.
The school district’s public information officer, Tracy Clark, claimed Schentrup has received back pay for the month and a half she took off work to grieve her daughter’s death – but not until it had already been docked in the first place.
Runcie recently made headlines for claiming the Parkland shooter had “no connection” to the school district’s PROMISE program, an alternative discipline program designed to limit on-campus arrests of troublesome students. School district officials later admitted the shooter had been referred to the program for three days in 2013 for vandalizing a bathroom.
Runcie has maintained the local school district bears no responsibility for the tragedy, saying at one point that “I felt like I lost my own kids.”
If he had, I wonder if he’d have asked for a little time off work.