No criminal record, kid? Good, you can buy a gun!
His 18-year-old daughter was among the 17 killed in the February 14, 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland Florida. The father blames race-based disciplinary policies and restorative justice for their deaths. A federal commission and the governor of Florida agree.
Excerpted from today’s Wall Street Journal, “A Parkland Father’s Quest for Accountability.”
‘Making the numbers work’ before safety
Andrew Pollack believes that political correctness killed [his daughter] Meadow.
A prominent villain in his narrative is Robert Runcie, who came to Broward from Chicago in 2011 as the superintendent of the county’s public schools. Mr. Runcie introduced a program called “Promise” … under which students who commit crimes in public schools would no longer be reported to the police by administrators. Under Promise, students would be evaluated and dealt with exclusively within the schools and their associated reform programs. Even felonies as severe as drug dealing, sexual assault and bringing weapons to school could lawfully be kept from the police.
Mr. Runcie “saw that minority students were being referred to the police at higher rates than whites,” as Mr. Pollack tells it.
“Rather than recognize that misbehavior can be the result of many complex problems outside school, or at home,” the superintendent concluded the disparity was because “teachers and schools were racist.” With no reporting, “now there’s no crime. The school’s data looks great. Problem solved.”
But a much worse problem was created: “No student has a criminal background as a result, so once you graduate from school and want to buy a gun, background checks are useless.”
Mr. Runcie and his supporters called their policy “discipline reform.” Violent students had to attend “healing circles,” among other sorts of in-house, nonjudicial remedies. The result, says Mr. Pollack … is that “mentally disturbed students, violent psychopaths like [Nikolas Cruz], are right there in the classroom with normal students like my daughter, and with teachers who don’t know how to deal with them, since they can’t bring in the cops.”
Feds imposed race-based discipline in 2014
The feds’ 2014 race-shaming edict decreed that adults have to change their behavior, not students, or the Justice Department would initiative discrimination lawsuits. Thankfully, that nonsense was repealed in December 2018 upon the recommendation of the U.S. School Safety Commission. The Wall Street Journal article continues:
Mr. Pollack describes the Broward County School District as “Ground Zero for a horrible approach to school safety that spread across America.” In January 2014, the Obama administration issued guidelines to the nation’s school boards, directing them to adopt “Promise”-like policies or risk a federal investigation and loss of funding.
… In high school, Nikolas Cruz vandalized a bathroom, causing more than $1,000 of damage. He racially abused black students and had fistfights with them. He carved swastikas on his desk. He hurled furniture across classrooms. He threw hard objects at other students, sometimes injuring them. He brought dead animals to school and often waved them before other students. He threatened to kill teachers and other students, and to shoot up the school. He wrote “KILL” in his notebooks and spoke frequently about guns. He brought knives to school and, on one occasion, a backpack full of bullets.
Sheriff Scott Israel was on a drive to reduce juvenile arrests, and the department allowed Cruz to keep a clean record even though deputies were called to his home 45 times in his middle- and high-school years.
On one of these occasions, “he’d punched his mother so hard in the mouth that she’d needed a new set of teeth,” Mr. Pollack says. “Sheriff Israel judged his success by how many kids he kept out of jail. When officers never arrested [Cruz] despite 45 calls, they were following Israel’s policy.”
Blaska’s Bottom Line: On Friday, Florida’s new Republican] governor, Ron DeSantis, suspended Sheriff Israel from office. The question is whether Madison WI will get school discipline figured out by April 2, Election Day.
Don’t worry, Part #3 of Blaska answers the teachers union is coming.