Palm Beach County schools Superintendent Michael Burke apologizes for 'inappropriate' guns comment

Burke 'in jest' told community members to 'send lawyers, guns, and money' to help school district
Superintendent Michael Burke speaks at a Palm Beach County School Board meeting on Aug. 25, 2021.jpg
Posted at 3:31 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 15:55:15-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County Superintendent Michael Burke apologized on Wednesday for what he called an "inappropriate" comment he made one day prior about guns.

During a back-to-school breakfast hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches on Tuesday, a woman in the audience asked Burke if there was anything the community could do to support students and the School District of Palm Beach County during this challenging time.

"Yes, send lawyers, guns, and money please," Burke jokingly said, which was met by a roar of laughter and applause from the crowd.

Burke then quickly backtracked on his comments.

"You can hold the guns. But the lawyers and money might come in handy," Burke said with a smile on his face. "Your support has been awesome."


Palm Beach County Superintendent Michael Burke makes 'guns' comment

During his opening remarks at Wednesday's Palm Beach County School Board meeting, Burke apologized for the comments, saying they were lyrics to one his favorite songs, "Lawyers, Guns and Money" by rock singer Warren Zevon.

"While this response was made in jest to send lawyers, guns, and money, it was fully intended to be a lighthearted quip," Burke said. "But I understand guns should not have been referenced in any manner. I apologize and take full responsibility for my inappropriate comment."


Palm Beach County Michael Burke apologizes for 'guns' comment

Burke officially took over as superintendent of the School District of Palm Beach County on July 28, where he's currently serving on an interim basis following the resignation of former superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy.

Burke's "guns" comment came at an already highly-charged time for the school district, which is grappling with surging COVID-19 cases among children, as well as a fierce controversy over the district's universal face mask mandate for students.

"Please know that I only want the best for all students within our county and will continue to work hard as superintendent," Burke said Wednesday during his apology.