DeSantis suspends four school board members after grand jury investigation into Parkland shooting

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) suspended four members of the Broward County School Board on Friday after reviewing a grand jury investigation into the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

DeSantis filed an executive order suspending Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray and Laurie Rich Levinson from office based on recommendations by the 20th Statewide Grand Jury.

The jury recommended that the board be suspended due to incompetence, neglect of duty and misuse of authority related to the shooting.

The governor referenced findings by the grand jury that a safety alarm that would have saved lives during the mass shooting at the high school was not installed and still remains uninstalled at many schools in the area.

“Students continue to be educated in unsafe, aging, decrepit, moldy buildings that were supposed to have been renovated years ago,” the grand jury found.

In February of 2018, an expelled student opened fire at the Parkland school, killing a total of 17 students and staff. The shooting prompted some of the survivors to found the March for Our Lives movement, a prominent group that works to prevent gun violence.

DeSantis’s press release described the alleged neglect of duty on the part of Good, Korn, Murray and Rich Levinson as “inexcusable,” saying that the four school board members “have shown a pattern of emboldening unacceptable behavior, including fraud and mismanagement, across the district.”

“It is my duty to suspend people from office when there is clear evidence of incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance or malfeasance,” DeSantis said.

He continued: “We hope this suspension brings the Parkland community another step towards justice.”

DeSantis appointed Torey Alston, Manual “Nandy” Serrano, Ryan Reiter and Kevin Tynan to the Broward County School Board in place of the four who were suspended.

The governor, who is rumored to be planning a run for president in 2024, also suspended a state attorney this month for “neglect of duty” after he refused to enforce laws prohibiting abortion and gender-affirming surgery for transgender minors.

The prosecutor, Andrew Warren, later sued the governor, calling the firing a violation of his First Amendment rights.

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