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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Broward: ‘Promise’ didn’t enable shooter to buy guns

Broward County’s PROMISE program, which diverts misbehaving students from the criminal-justice system, didn’t enable a former student to legally buy the guns he used to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, concludes a commission.

Anthony Borges, 15, was shot five times while barricading a classroom door, protecting 20 classmates.

“The PROMISE program didn’t fail,” Pinellas County Sheriff and commission chair Bob Gualtieri said. “It’s completely irrelevant, it’s a rabbit hole, it’s a red herring, it’s immaterial.”

Repeatedly in trouble in middle and high school, the student was referred to PROMISE for vandalism: There’s no record he attended the mandatory sessions, but apparently nobody noticed at the time. Without PROMISE, he could have been charged with a misdemeanor, at most.

Eventually, he was sent to a special school for students with emotional and behavioral issues, allowed to return to Douglas High, then transferred to a series of alternative programs.

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