School Climate & Safety

A Principal Lost Her Daughter in the Parkland Shooting. As She Grieved, the District Tried to Dock Her Pay

By Corey Mitchell — May 23, 2018 1 min read
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A Broward County, Fla., elementary school principal said the district tried to dock her pay for missed time after her daughter’s death in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

The Sun-Sentinel newspaper first reported the story.

April Schentrup, whose daughter, Carmen, was one of 17 killed in the Feb. 14 massacre, said Superintendent Robert Runcie told her that her job was not “part-time” when she tried to ease back into work after Carmen’s death.

Schentrup also told school board members that the district denied her request to have an interim principal appointed at her school, Pembroke Pines Elementary—and that staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas were granted more leave time to grieve than she was.

In response, the district reinstated Schentrup’s pay for time she took off between Feb. 15, the day after the shooting, and March 30. The district also approved a leave of absence that will have the “least impact” on her accrued leave time.

“First and foremost, we are devastated for April and Philip Schentrup on the loss of their daughter, Carmen, as we are for all the parents and families who lost a loved one in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy,” district spokeswoman Tracy Clark said in a statement.

“We continue to honor the Schentrup family’s request for privacy during this difficult time. We can only share that Superintendent Runcie and District officials have met with and remain in communication with Ms. Schentrup regarding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy and to provide information on how the District can continue to support her and the demands she faces returning to work.”

Schentrup is not the first parent angered by the district’s response to the Parkland shooting.

Dozens of parents attended a district-hosted public-safety forum in April and criticized the district’s perceived indifference. Motivated by the deaths of their children, several Parkland parents have pledged to run for school board in the 270,000-student district.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.