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Shock: Scot Peterson Won "Resource Officer of the Year."

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Concerning the events surrounding the deadly massacre at a Florida high school earlier this month, a familiar phrase rings painfully true: “Evil triumphs when good people stand idly by.”

Scot Peterson, the Broward County Sheriff Department’s in-school officer, stood idly by as shots rang out and the gunman’s evil plot triumphed.

“The school resource officer was behind a stairwell wall just standing there, and he had his gun drawn. And he was just pointing it at the building,” recounted Stoneman Douglas student Brandon Huff. “Shots started going off inside. You could hear them going off over and over.”

When the news broke of what appeared to be pure cowardice on Peterson’s part, a flurry of questions began: What went wrong? Was Peterson a sad coward who just wasn’t cut out for a career in the police force? A bad apple in the sheriff’s department?

So, was Peterson just a coward? Well, not according to the Broward County Crime Commission who presented him with the “School Resource Officer of the Year” award in 2014, the New York Post reported.

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And the motto of that commission“Evil triumphs when good people stand idly by.”

Despite the crime commission’s motto, it appears that “standing idly by” was one of the sheriff department’s most valued tenets.

Take, for example, a phone call received by the sheriff’s office in February 2015. According to the Miami Herald, an anonymous caller informed the Broward Sheriff’s Office that Nikolas Cruz, 17 at the time, “had threatened on Instagram to shoot up his school and posted a photo of himself with guns.”

This information was then given to the school’s recourse officer — Scot Peterson — who, shall we say, stood idly by. According to the Herald, this verbal warning about Cruz’s dangerous behavior had “no apparent result.”

Do you think Officer Peterson should be criminally charged?

If this was simply incompetence, it would be a tremendous failure. But it appears to be much more than that. Information uncovered about the culture of inaction at the sheriff’s department reveals that Peterson’s actions were the status quo.

Thanks to the policies in the sheriff’s department and the school district that were influenced by the Obama administration and the NAACP, officers were incentivized to cut back on crime rates — not by making schools safer, but by arresting fewer students, American Thinker explained.

Named the PROMISE program, this social justice initiative aimed to reduce the number of students being arrested, especially minority students.

Rather than base the school’s disciplinary policies on keeping students safe, Broward County School District adopted an NAACP-advised, social-justice program. Under then President Barack Obama, politically motivated, race-based school policy was common.

The premise of the PROMISE program? Federal grants.

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“The Obama administration’s Department of Education was also involved in implementing PROMISE. Obama, who routinely dangled carrots in the form of matching federal grants to local districts for their participation in Common Core and Race to the Top, doled out millions to Broward,” explained American Thinker’s M. Catherine Evans.

What began as a somewhat innocuous policy of overlooking students’ “minor offenses,” turned into a culture of turning a blind-eye to serious crimes. After all, how could crime and incarceration statistics continue to fall if reports were made by the school and arrests made by the authorities?

And this all leads us back to Peterson. He understood that in order to abide by the goals instituted by the PROMISE program, he needed to arrest fewer students every year. Nikolas Cruz was one of those students. After all, Peterson’s 2014 award was given based on his excellent “tact and judgment.” Tact and judgment in this case was synonymous with “don’t arrest, just defer.”

Read Conservative Tribune’s report below to learn more about the policy of inaction adopted by the Broward County School District and the Broward County Sheriff’s Department:

A look at the past seven years since Scott Israel became the head of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office reveal his agenda for self-advancement by making the school district in his jurisdiction appear safer. His actions proved to do the exact opposite.

During his reelection campaign in 2016, Israel proudly toted his accomplishments of “sharply reduc(ing) violent crime and burglary rates,” as well as his “innovative initiatives” to keep students in school and out of jail, the Sun Sentinel reported. Those statistics were nothing more than a smokescreen.

In 2013, a year after Israel was elected to head of the department, The Broward County School Board and District Superintendent made an agreement with Broward County Law enforcement officials to essentially stop arresting students for crimes, American Thinker explained.

Aside from the school district and sheriff’s office, a politically motivated third part got involved. More specifically, a political group: The NAACP.

“One of the nation’s largest school districts has reached an agreement with law enforcement agencies and the NAACP to reduce the number of students being charged with crimes for minor offenses,” read a 2013 Associated Press report.

Rather than base the school’s disciplinary policies on keeping students safe, Broward County School District adopted an NAACP-advised, social-justice “PROMISE” program. Thanks to then President Barack Obama, politically motivated, race-based school policy wasn’t unusual. As noted by American Thinker, “In Obama era … considerations of race routinely shaped educational policy.”

“(A)cross the country, students of color, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ students are disproportionately impacted by school-based arrests for the same behavior as their peers,” read the agreement between the school and law enforcement.

The solution? Look the other way.

What began as a somewhat innocuous policy of overlooking students’ “minor offenses,” turned into a culture of turning a blind-eye to serious crimes. After all, how could crime and incarceration statistics continue to fall if reports were made by the school and arrests made by the authorities?

As noted earlier, Sheriff Israel even boasted about these artificially low crime statistics on a candidate questionnaire for his re-election.

“The results speak for themselves. As our sheriff, I successfully implemented new policies and approaches to public safety that sharply reduced violent crime and burglary rates – the sharpest declines in the entire State of Florida,” he said. “My innovative initiatives also helped keep children in school and out of jail, greatly expanding the juvenile civil citation program and making issuance of civil citations mandatory for BSO deputies….I will build upon these impressive successes in my next term as Sheriff.”

But while arrests decreased, suspensions increased, according to the Sun Sentinel.

These horrible policies came to a head in the months leading up to the deadly Stoneman Douglas School shooting on Feb. 14.

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Rebekah Baker is the former deputy managing editor of The Western Journal.
Rebekah Baker is the former deputy managing editor of The Western Journal. She graduated from Grove City College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She has written hundreds of articles on topics like the sanctity of life, free speech and freedom of religion.
Education
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Faith




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