“You don’t want to answer this family?” Preston questions a panel of academic administrators before being removed from the podium by security.
On the phone Kenneth Preston was holding at the podium was a friend of his whose sister was among the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting.
Preston is a 19-year-old Broward County student. Or at least he was until he was un-enrolled by the coordinator of home school education after supposedly not completing significant paperwork.
He claims that the document he received was not even certified, and that he neither obtained a phone call or e-mail regarding his enrolment status. Preston called out the school board’s hypocrisy and corruption for his circumstances.
The student was homeschooled after he came down with a severe bout with Lyme Disease, an illness that set him back almost two years.
The Weekly Standard, The Hill, The Daily Wire, and other similar sites helped to publicize Preston’s story and the young man became more motivated than ever to expose his school board from corruption.
The school board’s fiscal mismanagement
Taking it upon himself to investigate into the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Preston was convinced that he could discover individuals who share responsibility in the tragedy.
A conclusion was drawn, and Broward County’s school board and Superintendent, Robert Runcie, were the prime suspects of a sinister deed: failing to keep students safe.
Preston provides lengthy explanations for why Runcie was at fault, including corruption stemming from fiscal mismanagement. For example, Preston demonstrates that the Superintendent had access to approximately $100,000,000 specifically for school safety.
Preston also brings up a statement by the President of the Broward Sheriff Union, Jeff Bell. In a conversation with FOX News host, Laura Ingraham, the Union President explains that while the school board’s intentions were to improve the fundamental safety of the school’s infrastructure, its security features, and involve a more significant police presence, the school board was unwilling to pay the money that the services necessitated.
The school’s shady rehabilitation program
The Superintendent’s former boss, now Secretary of Education, launched a program for students to resolve the disproportionate number of minority students being arrested. This program was supposed to evaluate students based on their overall behaviours, attendance, and arrest record, among other criterias.
School shooter of Stoneman Douglas, student Nikolas Cruz, was always reported but never arrested for misdemeanours that the high school program helps students to legally overcome. These crimes include assault and harassment among other forms of injustice.
Yet, when faced with tough questions regarding the student’s involvement in the program that would inevitably be the reason why he was never arrested, both Runcie and Bell admit that Cruz was never enrolled in program in the first place.
In person battle
Preston finally approaches officials. Face-to-face, the podium to himself, Preston expresses his deep disappointment in the findings of his investigation, “Had the alarm been installed on time and with the recommended upgrades, those six would likely not have been killed.”
Doubling down on his accusations against the school board, Preston makes mention of Meadow Pollack, one of the victims of the high school tragedy. Meadow’s brother, Hunter, approached the officials once before and asked for clarification into the matters. They did not respond to him publicly, nor did they ever privately communicate with him.
Preston reveals that, in his hand, was Hunter on speakerphone, and that the Pollack family was watching the meeting between him and the officials.
“Superintendent, can you please explain to them [Hunter and the Pollack family] why the security programs were not a priority, and why the families were misled as to what could be and could not be done with that system?”
In a dry response, the panel responds by explaining that they do not do “back-and-forth” with public speakers.
Firing back at a dry response
“It seems decorum went out the window when Hunter came and asked you, personally, face-to-face, and you never reached out, you never gave him an answer, and his sister was a student killed in this school district, one of our students, and they’ve never been given an explanation. So, I understand that typically there is not a back-and-forth, but it seems in this situation, given that they’re asking answers, and they haven’t been given any, that it would be appropriate,” Preston fires back at the panel who, in reciprocation meets him with complete and utter silence.
Another speaker attempts to come to the defence of the student who is waiting for some sort of response. But to no avail.
The panel interrupts the speaker claiming they could not speak as Preston still had uninterrupted time on the podium, as well as reinforcing the same monotonous and repetitive line that they do not engage in back-and-forth with public speakers.
Hunter, still on the phone, is invited to say something into the microphone:
“You don’t want to answer him?” Hunter asks.
Preston presses the panel again, “You don’t want to answer this family?”
Subsequently, the mic is cut and, when his remaining seconds are up, Preston is escorted off the podium by a security guard.
It is so admirable to see a young and charismatic student fight for the rights of their peers, exposing a corrupt academic system, and defending their own education from the grasps of a board who that simply does not do justice for its students and its students’ families.
When will American get the right kind of policy change?
See the full video of Kenneth fight the injustices of the school board in his tweet below:
Our leaders are ignoring the Parkland families.
My friend Hunter’s sister was killed at Stoneman Douglas. Officials have ignored him for months, so I decided to demand answers publicly.
Watch them cut my mic and have security remove me. pic.twitter.com/gPldIdyxBL
— Kenneth Preston (@kennethrpreston) September 12, 2018
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