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Why we need an Elijah Manley on every School Board NOW

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat what a sign at the entrance to Auschwitz says. We are now in year 19 of the modern active school shooter/bomber era. YEAR 19!

The status quo has failed miserably at school safety since Columbine, April 20 (Hitler's birthday), 1999. The time for change is well overdue.

The WVPI recommends Elijah Manley, 19, for Broward County School Board. Some say due to his tender age Broward should wait a few years before electing this bright, articulate candidate for the at-large school board position.

We say NOW is the time to elect Candidate Manley.

Elijah Manley, the first candidate born during the active shooter/bomber era to run for school board and Kathleen M. Bonczyk, founder WVPI

Nothing is more significant than safety.

Mr. Manley unlike most who sit on School Boards who are not millennials, who were not raised as he was knowing his school could be attacked at any moment by someone in his own age group, views and understands this problem in a unique and necessary way given the times.

Our schools are soft targets for kamikaze attacks like the one which occurred in Broward when 17 innocents were murdered and 17 others were shot at Stoneman Douglas, which on paper much like Columbine High School appeared to be an extremely safe school.

Like most perpetrators, the accused Parkland mass murderer is a millennial and incredulously a former classmate of Mr. Manley's. He is a former Douglas student who was permitted to walk around that school for an extended period of time as a result of policy made by adults more seasoned than Mr. Manley prior to his expulsion.

Like Harris, Klebold, Lanza, Cho and many others, the Douglas mass murderer had a long list of known problems and risk factors - which like the other killers were apparently ignored or disregarded by decision-makers with more "experience" than Candidate Manley.

The perpetrator's rage was permitted to fester and deepen against the school he would later attack, as a result of the decisions made to keep him at Douglas. Decisions attributable to policy made by Mr. Manley's opponent on the school board and the superintendent hired by that board.

The 14 innocent students and three innocent faculty members shot dead at Douglas in Broward, February 14, 2018.

Teacher Barry Grunow was shot dead in May 2000 one year after Columbine by a 13 year old student in front of his class. Lake Worth Middle School. Lake Worth, Florida.

The Douglas High victims were students and faculty members, murdered while endeavoring to get their educations or while at work. The homicide of a teacher at work is nothing new to Florida when one considers Barry Grunow's vicious killing.

What has changed in Broward since February 14, 2018 to remedy the root cause of problems that have plagued our schools for nearly two decades? I say little to nothing. For the most part, it's "business as usual."

Candidate Manley is committed to putting an end to that once and for all so that schools are safe for children to learn and for teachers to work.

"Times Up!!" say the youngsters of Broward County.

I have had multiple personal conversations with Mr. Manley and am convinced we need the fundamental change he represents.

For one, he recognizes the risk of bombs, used in numerous attacks starting with Columbine and recently at Santa Fe High School on May 18, 2018, to school safety.

Mr. Manley also knows where the waste of public funds lies, monies that could be re-alloctead to safety.

By way of example: Please watch him question the School Board's decision to award Superintendent Runcie a whopping $28,000.00 pay increase over his hefty base pay.

Mr. Manley has also condemned the waste of funds in school inputs that constitutes unnecessary spending. More monies that could be earmarked for safety.

Mr. Manley does not have the sort of relationship to special interest groups who have contributed financially to the campaigns of other candidates. His interest lies with safety: Safety of teachers and students will be his overriding concern when it comes time to award contracts, not special interests.

We've had 19 years of Columbines, Sandy Hooks, Sparks Middles, Marjory Stoneman Douglases, Santa Fes, and Noblesville Middles.

Let's put an end to the trauma and pain that has impacted too many families, neighbors and friends across our country.

Mr. Manley, fellow School Board Candidate who we also support Natalia Garceau at the WVPI event From Columbine to Noblesville. Also pictured are Chris Stone's mother, sister & cousin. Chris was murdered at Santa Fe High School.

Mrs. Rosie Stone and her beautiful son, Chris, 17, lost to us on May 18, 2018 at the Santa Fe High School mass shooting/bombing together with seven other innocent students and two teachers.

Mr. Manley signed the WVPI's "3-3 Commitment" at the July 27-28, 2018 From Columbine to Noblesville workshop.

Fundamental change is needed to school safety on every school board across the land, like the kind Candidate Manley proposes.

Let's start with Broward County.

Elect Mr. Manley for the at-large position, Broward County School District.

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