Andrew Pollack is the father of Meadow Pollack, one of the kids who was murdered during the Parkland shooting by Nikolas Cruz. This week, Pollack has a new book out titled ““Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies that Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students.” An excerpt from the book was published Sunday by the New York Post and it reveals some details about Cruz’s behavior that makes you wonder why he was ever allowed into an ordinary high school. Throughout his Middle School years, Cruz was marked as someone obviously disturbed who routinely disrupted classes and who openly talked about his interest in blood and violence:
Cruz’s torture and killing of animals became a source of pride for him as he interacted with other students. One student, Devin, recalled that, although he tried to avoid Cruz, Cruz would approach him almost every day and ask, “Would you like to see videos of me skinning animals?” Devin always declined, but Cruz kept asking.
Cruz’s records suggest that his reign of terror at Westglades Middle School began halfway through his seventh-grade year, in February of 2013. For the next calendar year, Cruz was suspended every other day. Why did the school allow him to remain enrolled despite his daily, deranged behavior for a full year? Not by negligence, but by policy.
Students with disabilities are supposed to be educated in the “least restrictive environment” possible, regardless of whether their disability is that they’re dyslexic or a psychopath, and the paperwork requirements to send them to a specialized school can take many months.
Cruz’s language arts teacher spent months documenting his outbursts in class. Eventually, an assistant principal came to class to observe him:
On Oct. 24, Assistant Principal Antonio Lindsay came to class to observe Cruz. As soon as Lindsay left the room, Cruz yelled, “Yes, now I can talk!” He continued to be disruptive, and Yon said, “I know that you can behave. I have seen you. You’re a good kid.” Cruz shouted, “I’m a bad kid! I want to kill!”
It took several more months before the efforts to document Cruz’s behavior finally led to him be put in a school called Cross Creek which was designed for kids with serious problems. While there he regularly met with a therapist and also met with a consulting psychiatrist named Dr. Ortiz. Dr. Ortiz was so concerned about his behavior that she wrote a letter to Cruz’s private psychiatrist to make sure they were fully aware of his behavior and could continue his treatment over the summer before he was set to start high school. Here’s a sample:
At home, he continues to be aggressive and destructive with minimal provocation. For instance, he destroyed his television after loosing [sic] a video game that he was playing. Nikolas has a hatchet that he uses to chop up a dead tree in his backyard. Mom has not been able to locate that hatchet as of lately [sic]. When upset he punches holes in the walls and has used sharp tools to cut up the upholstery on the furniture and carve holes in the walls of the bathroom. Per recent information shared in school he dreams of killing others and [being] covered in blood.
Cruz started his freshmen year at Cross Creek but by October some improvement was noted in his behavior. Near the end of the school year Cruz asked to be allowed to join the Junior ROTC program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas:
Ortiz recorded, “interested in [J]ROTC? — not advised … Discussed the safety of others/himself.”
But the next month, every member of Cruz’s “Child Study Team” recommended that he be mainstreamed for two class periods a day at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year: for one class to be determined and JROTC.
Despite every indication that he was dangerous and obsessed with violence, they mainstreamed Cruz back into the high school where he eventually murdered 17 people. As the book recounts, teachers at Westglades Middle School who had worked so hard to get Cruz out of regular schools were surprised not by the shooting but by the fact that he’d ever been allowed back to a regular high school.
Andrew Pollack appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show last night and put the blame on Obama-era policies which were apparently designed to end the so-called school-to-prison pipeline. Pollack says that students were each allowed up to four infractions before police were involved and the number was reset every year. Meanwhile, parents weren’t told that kids with serious behavioral problems, like Nikolas Cruz, were at the school. Here’s Pollack’s appearance on Tucker’s show: