Where do Delaware administrators stand on discipline?

March 13, 2018

After the horrific Valentine's Day massacre of 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, it's been perplexing reading the reactions from the political left, including our state leaders, that predictably center on demonizing the NRA and guns as cover for the failures of our government bureaucracies.

Joanne Cabry, chair of the Progressive Democrats of Sussex County, who wants to "regulate what guns individuals can own," claims in a letter to the Cape Gazette that "President Obama proposed to ... require universal background checks for all firearms buyers" but failed because of the NRA.

Maybe so, but what about the defects in the existing system that she ignores?

According to the Washington Post on Nov. 10, 2017, "the FBI's background-check system is missing millions of records of criminal convictions, mental illness diagnoses and other flags that would keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands, a gap that contributed to the shooting deaths of 26 people in a Texas church..."

"Experts," the article said, "who study the data say government agencies responsible for maintaining such records have long failed to forward them into federal databases used for gun background checks - systemic breakdowns that have lingered for decades as officials decided they were too costly and time-consuming to fix."

In other words, the very system that gun-control proponents seek to expand to all firearm transfers failed in exactly the situation where it might have done some good preventing that church slaughter in Texas.

Former Vice President Joe Biden absurdly chimed in on NBC that Stephen Willeford, who bravely ended the rampage of the crazed murderer at the church, was wrong because "the kind of gun (AR-15) being carried, he shouldn't be carrying." Really, Joe?

And where have senators Carper and Coons been over the years in addressing the background check problems?

Then, Speaker of the House of Representatives and former state trooper, Pete Schwartzkopf in pushing raising age limits from 18 to 21 for rifle purchases (HB 330) has forgotten to address the failure of the FBI, Broward County Police Department, gun-free zones and the Florida school administrators.

Preceding their lax follow-up of Nikolas Cruz, we shouldn't forget FBI's failure just last year in another Florida shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport where Iraq war veteran Esteban Santiago killed five travelers and wounded six others in another gun-free zone.

FBI agents previously took Santiago's gun when he went into an Alaska field office in November to say government was controlling his mind. But it was returned to him just a month later for unknown reasons.

The shooter was also left off all the no-fly lists and was allowed to check his gun before the attack.

Was that the NRA's fault too?

Then, there are the failed school discipline policies.

In her recent article, Ann Coulter documented that, "Over and over again, students at Marjory Stoneman High School reported Cruz's terrifying behavior to school administrators, including Kevin Greenleaf, 'security specialist,' and Peter Mahmoud, head of JROTC.

"At least three students showed school administrators Cruz's near-constant messages threatening to kill them - e.g., 'I am going to enjoy seeing you down on the grass,' 'Im going to watch ypu (sic) bleed,' 'iam (sic) going to shoot you dead' - including one that came with a photo of Cruz's guns. They warned school authorities that he was bringing weapons to school. They filed written reports."

"Threatening to kill someone is a felony. In addition to locking Cruz away for a while, having a felony record would have prevented him from purchasing a gun."

But, the official Broward County policy in a Nov. 5, 2013, agreement titled Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline wasn't interested in that.

Ms. Coulter adds that, "The first ... clause of the agreement states that "the use of arrests and referrals to the criminal justice system may decrease a student's chance of graduation, entering higher education, joining the military and getting a job.

"Just a few months ago, the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Robert W. Runcie, was actually bragging about how student arrests had plummeted under his bold leadership.

"When he took over in 2011, the district had 'the highest number of school-related arrests in the state.' But today, he boasted, Broward has 'one of the lowest rates of arrest in the state.' By the simple expedient of ignoring criminal behavior, student arrests had declined by a whopping 78 percent."

I wonder if Delaware school administrators have a similar agreement and attitudes on school discipline?


Geary Foertsch lives in Rehoboth and writes from a libertarian perspective to promote economic liberty, non-cronyism free markets, small government and a non-intervention foreign policy. He can be contacted at


  • Accomplished writers appear in the Politics column every Tuesday on a rotating basis to explore the dynamic world of politics at the local, county, state, national and world levels.