The Department of Education has been handcuffed as it works to provide guidance on school safety following the murder of 17 students at a Florida high school due to continued Democratic obstruction of nominees for its top leadership posts.
One appointee who has been waiting months to be confirmed is Frank Brogan, who happens to have a personal experience with school shootings.
Brogan was working in 1985 as an assistant principal in a Florida middle school when he spotted a student waving a gun around, according to an Associated Press account. Brogan chased the student down and attempted to talk the student down, but ended up with the gun pointed directly at him. The student aimed at police as they arrived, but thanks to Brogan, who pushed the gun away, when the gun fired the bullet went into the ground. He wrestled the gun away from the student, breaking his hand in the process, but putting an end to the situation before any students were hurt.
Brogan is nominated to be the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, which overseas the office of safe and healthy students, a resource for schools seeking common sense ways to make schools safer. Aside from his hands-on experience, his résumé includes stints as a teacher, a principal, Florida’s lieutenant governor, president of Florida Atlantic University, and chancellor of public universities for both Florida and Pennsylvania.
Florida governor Rick Scott (R.) contacted the Department of Education in the immediate aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting to request someone from the agency be part of his task force on school safety, but the department was unable to send anybody with actual authority.
“We don’t have any Senate-confirmed senior staff that deal with the issues Florida wanted guidance on,” said a department spokesman. “None of the people you would send to that task force have been confirmed.”