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Broward County School Board Member Clarifies Comment About Last School Year

Parents of the victims of the Parkland school shooting criticized on Aug. 9 the Broward school district's response to the shooting.
Sam Turken
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A Broward County school board member says a recent comment she made about the 2017-18 school year was taken out of context. 

Parents of the victims of the Parkland school shooting claimed on Aug. 9 that board member Donna Korn recently said that last school year was the best Broward County has seen despite the massacre.

But in a release on Monday, Korn said soundbites of her statement from an interview during the State of the County address were cut short. She said her comment was actually praising the performance of Broward County's school principals. 

"I was congratulating our leaders who work extremely hard to educate our children," Korn said in the release, which was sent out by school board member Rosalind Osgood. "This was in no way a comment on the state of security within our schools or to overlook the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas." 

Families of the victims gathered on Aug. 9 to complain about the decisionmaking of the school district in wake of the shooting in February. They said the school board was incompetent and has failed to improve the safety of its schools, and called on voters to elect new board members this year. 

April Schentrup, whose daughter Carmen was killed during the shooting, said she was particularly angry at Korn for saying that last school year was the best Broward has ever seen.

Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter Jaime to the shooting, also tweeted that 2017-18 was not the best school year and that Korn has "failed." 

Donna Korn, trust me, last year was not the best year ever in Broward Schools. Your job is not to make yourself feel better, it is to address our needs. You have failed and the voters need to fire you.— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) August 9, 2018

And Ryan Petty, who is running for Korn's seat and whose daughter Alaina died in the shooting, released a campaign ad criticizing Korn in response to her comment.  

But Korn said her statement was an "accolade to the students, teachers and parents, who work hard educating our children every day and inspiration for even great success this year." 

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After living in North Carolina the past four years, Miami native Sam Turken is back in the city he’s always called home.