Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz was referred to discipline program, despite officials' denials

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz was referred to a controversial Broward School District discipline program known as PROMISE -- which he never completed, newly released documents show.

Despite repeated denials in the months following the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Superintendent Robert Runcie tweeted Monday morning that “additional information” would be revealed as part of an independent review underway.

Broward School District issued a clarifying statement, explaining Runcie was correct in his earlier assertions, as Cruz was not in PROMISE during high school, but rather was referred while in middle school, and ultimately did not complete the program for reasons that are still unclear.

“Late Friday evening, after diligently analyzing data from multiple sources and systems, we confirmed that while attending Westglades Middle School in 2013, there was a disciplinary infraction (“Vandalism/Destruction of Property less than $1,000” offense on November 25, 2013, in a bathroom at Westglades Middle School), that could have been a PROMISE eligible offense," the district said. "However, while our records indicate that Cruz underwent an intake interview/process at Pine Ridge on November 26, 2013, it does not appear that Cruz completed the recommended three-day assignment/placement.”


Alex Arreaza, attorney for the family of Parkland victim Anthony Borges, says his team is investigating the entire discipline matrix at Broward Schools and the behavior intervention programs Cruz may have been a part of. They want to know, if Cruz never completed the PROMISE diversionary program, why he wasn't arrested.

“This demonstrates what we’ve been arguing all along...that the school board is playing fast and loose with people that are dangerous like Nikolas Cruz...what other intervention programs was he part of?" Arreaza said.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced last week he asked the Department of Justice and Department of Education to look at Broward’s discipline protocols and the district’s PROMISE agreement.

"I was repeatedly told that the Parkland shooter was never in the Promise Program I was asking questions about. Now it turns out that in fact he was," Rubio tweeted Monday.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's office in a statement said Scott "is concerned to learn about" Cruz's apparent referral to the program.

"The school district should have been more forthcoming with the public on intervention services provided and why there seemed to be no follow through to Nikolas Cruz participating and completing this program, the statement read." It’s clear that there must be a complete review of the PROMISE program, specifically in terms of oversight and referral services used by the Broward County School leadership.

The independent review being conducted regarding Cruz’s school history is expected to be completed in June.

A separate statewide commission investigating the shooting is expecting to have their findings and summary report in January.