“18-958’s story was so bad that, after I learned everything that I’ll share with you in this book, I approached his defense attorney. I said, “Give me his education documents and I’ll testify for the defense about how the system failed him.” – Andrew Pollack. (Mr. Pollack refers to the killer by his prison number).
After the Uvalde school shooting, Congress rushed to pass legislation without one hearing into what actually happened. So far, the press has reported little beyond the sensationalist initial reports. Perhaps some journalist will do a deep dive into the story.
I was motivated to look into an earlier shooting, the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School incident in Parkland, Florida. Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack did write such a deep dive, along with the education researcher, Max Eden.
This book gives a detailed account of the shootings, what led to it, and the political fighting that occurred in its wake.
Andrew Pollack: “I wanted to know everything about why the shooting happened, so I launched an investigation. The more I learned, the less I could believe how much incompetence there was.”
“I truly mean that. It didn’t ever make sense how everyone in Broward County could have been so incompetent. But eventually I figured out the explanation: political correctness. ‘You could write a book about the failures that enabled my daughter’s murder. You could write a book about the police and how their politically correct policy to reduce juvenile arrests allowed 18-958 to keep a clean record despite forty-five police visits to his home. You could write a book about the mental health authorities and how they refused to institutionalize him three different times – when he was suicidal, threatening to kill, and obsessed with buying a gun – in the name of “civil liberty.”‘
Talking about school policies, he writes:
“One policy is known as discipline reform or ‘restorative justice.’ Activists and bureaucrats saw that minority students were being disciplined at higher rates than white students, and rather than recognize that misbehavior might reflect bigger problems and inequities outside of school, they blamed teachers for the disparity. They essentially accused teachers of racism and sought to prevent teachers from enforcing consequences of bad behavior. They thought if students didn’t get disciplined in school, if instead teachers did ‘healing circles’ or something with them, then students wouldn’t get in trouble in the real world. Superintendents then started pressuring principals to lower the number of suspensions, expulsions, and school based arrests. All that actually happened was that everyone looked the otters way or swept disturbing behavior under the rug, making our schools more dangerous.
On p6, teacher Kimberly Krawczyk says, “The PROMISE program was the cornerstone of Broward’s new disciplinary leniency policies. Runce sought to fight the so-called ‘schoolhouse to jailhouse’ pipeline by lowering suspensions, expulsions, and arrests.”
p11 “MSD students were telling the media frightening stories about the shooter. He threatened to kill them, he brought knives and bullets to school; he brought dead animals to school and bragged about mutilating them. No one was surprised he had done it. Everyone knew he could. So, why was he never stopped or helped?”
I think I’ve quoted as much as I should. I encourage everyone with school-age children to read the book. It’s available cheaply on Amazon, even more cheaply as a Kindle download.
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