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Parkland Policy Allowed Students Four Misdemeanors Per Year Without Punishment
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed in the shooting, at a meeting of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission in April.
Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Andrew Pollack lost his daughter, Meadow, during the February 14, 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

In a new book, Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students, Pollack and co-author Max Eden look at the real reasons the shooting happened. It wasn’t simply a matter of access to guns that caused the shooting, Pollack and Eden argue.

During an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Pollack outlined one Broward County policy that puts students in danger in order to avoid the potential for over-punishing students.

“One of the examples in Broward when my daughter was going to school; students were allowed four misdemeanors per school year without being introduced to the judicial system,” Pollack told Carlson last week. “And then, at the end of the year, Tucker, if you could believe this — so, that was in ninth grade you had a kid next to your kid in the classroom — commits four misdemeanors, and then next year, 10th grade, he resets at zero and is allowed another four misdemeanors per school year.”

Carlson added that the policy “basically makes it impossible for school authorities to do anything about a threatening kid.”

Pollack agreed, adding, “And the worst thing about it is, Tucker, they don’t make the parents aware of it.”

For reference, certain misdemeanors can result in one year in prison. Misdemeanors include animal cruelty (one of the earliest signs that a person could become a murderer), assault, and battery. The Broward policy meant that a student could be involved in up to four violent altercations per year without the police being informed or involved.

In another interview, Pollack described his book as “a manual or a guide for parents and grandparents to read it and actually look at what happened in Parkland and compare it — these policies are throughout the whole country.”

The Daily Caller reported that Pollack told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that his main goal for the book was “accountability.”

“I want accountability,” Pollack said. “I want to hold everyone accountable that let my daughter get murdered in the school.”

Pollack added that parents aren’t even aware of the school policies that enabled the Parkland shooter.

“The school knew about it all, Neil,” he added. “It kills me. Looking at the book it makes my blood boil. I’ve been talking about it all week. It’s not easy for me. I put my daughter into a school that I didn’t know what was going on and I take blame for that for not knowing.”

In 2014, the Obama administration’s Department of Education issued guidance for schools essentially telling them to reduce racial disparities in punishment by any means necessary. As Eden wrote for the Manhattan Institute:

Prior to the Dear Colleague Letter, the standard held that civil rights are violated if students are treated differently because of race; for instance, if a black student and a white student both curse at a teacher, it’s wrong to suspend the black student and give the white student a warning. The Dear Colleague Letter expanded the standard from disparate treatment to disparate impact; now, if two black students and one white student curse at a teacher, it could be a civil rights violation to punish them all equally.

Broward County, Florida, where the Parkland shooting occurred, “led the nation in promoting and implementing this policy shift and served as the exemplar for President Barack Obama’s directive,” Eden wrote.

The Trump administration ended the Obama-era guidance late last year.

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