You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

POST TIME: Lake Worth Middle teacher killed by student 15 years ago

Readers: This week marks the 15th anniversary of the horrific slaying of Lake Worth Middle School teacher Barry Grunow, in the doorway of his classroom, at the hand of his 13-year-old student, Nathaniel Brazill.

On May 26, 2000, the last day of the school year, Brazill — due to get an F in Grunow’s class, and angry after being suspended — went to the home of a family friend. There, on the table, was a legally owned pistol

Making ominous comments such as “I’m going to be all over the news,” the seventh-grader returned to the school, standing at Grunow’s classroom door, asking to see his friends. Grunow laughed and refused. Brazill cocked the cheap pistol and shot the 35-year-old father of two in the face.

Police interrogation video shows him weeping after a detective told him that Grunow was dead. “What was I thinking? What was I thinking?” he cried.

Brazill, now 28, remains in state prison. In 2010, in a 10-year-anniversary interview with the late Palm Beach Post reporter Susan Spencer-Wendel, Brazill said he was looking forward to his release date: May 18, 2028. He’ll be nearly 42.

He said of the slaying, “I have to live with that fact every day.”

Brazill’s mother, Polly Powell, died in 2008. In prison, Brazill earned his GED and law clerk and paralegal certifications. In July 2011, he filed a lawsuit from prison alleging his civil rights were violated when prison officials transferred him twice and put him in solitary confinement for what he claimed was retaliation for filing an earlier suit. Both were dismissed.

Grunow’s widow sued the pawn shop that sold the pistol, as well as the family friend and the Palm Beach County School Board. All cases were settled out of court for more than $1 million. Grunow also sued the maker of the gun. A jury ruled that the company had to pay $1.2 million, but that was overturned by the trial judge and an appeals court.

Friends of Barry Grunow later created a memorial “run for the money” 5K run/walk that each year awards scholarships. This year the event will be a golf tournament in October at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. Call 561-543-5541.

In 2001, a year after Grunow’s death, Florida Atlantic University dedicated a butterfly garden to the 1987 graduate. Fighting to control her emotions, Grunow’s wife, Pam, a former special education teacher, recalled how her husband delighted in the butterfly garden at their own home.

“The loved ones we grieve for are still around,” Pam Grunow said. “We can make good out of bad if we want to.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Elon Musk launches effort to interface human brain and computers
Elon Musk launches effort to interface human brain and computers

  Entrepreneur Elon Musk is the man behind the car company Tesla, the inventor of PayPal and the genius behind Space X, Hyperloop and even more. Now the billionaire inventor has launched a company called Neuralink to figure out how to connect the brain and computers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The idea is to create tiny devices, like electrodes...
Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says
Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says

Cats have gotten a bad rap, at least according to a new study that found your feline really does like you, even if it doesn’t always know how to show you, and it actually likes interacting with you more than it prefers food. The study from Oregon State University researchers in the journal “Behavioral Processes” also determined that...
Cerabino: Film festival? I’ve got my own film festival right here.
Cerabino: Film festival? I’ve got my own film festival right here.

It’s that time of year again for another round of the Palm Beach International Film Festival. The festival, which begins Wednesday, has its usual eclectic lineup of domestic and foreign films, features and documentaries. And yet, not a single one of my movie projects made the cut. Happens every year. Here are seven of my movies you won&rsquo...
TLC’s ‘Trading Spaces’ is headed back to television
TLC’s ‘Trading Spaces’ is headed back to television

TLC is bringing back its popular show “Trading Spaces” 10 years after it went off the air. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network announced it will bring the show back in an upfront presentation to advertisers on Tuesday. “I am excited to announce that TLC's most successful and most iconic series ... ‘Trading Spaces&rsquo...
Judge asks governor for opioids help: ‘It’s just the right thing to do’
Judge asks governor for opioids help: ‘It’s just the right thing to do’

As Palm Beach County’s chief circuit judge, Jeffrey Colbath has had a courtroom view of the opioid epidemic’s toll on society over the past few years. He also is aware that local leaders have pleaded to Gov. Rick Scott for help to curb the crisis, only to be ignored. That’s why Colbath decided to write his own letter to Scott, asking...
More Stories