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Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America's Students

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As featured in the New York Post and as seen on Tucker Carlson, Fox and Friends, Martha MacCallum, and more.

Voted by Book Authority as one of the ten best social policy books of all time!

The Parkland school shooting was the most avoidable mass murder in American history. And the policies that made it inevitable are being forced into public schools across America.

“After my sister Meadow was murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the media obsessed for months about the type of rifle the killer used. It was all clickbait and politics, not answers or justice. That wasn’t good enough for us. My dad is a real tough guy, but Meadow had him wrapped around her little finger. He would do anything she wanted, and she would want him to find every answer so that this never happens again.

My dad teamed up with one of America’s leading education experts to launch his own investigation. We found the answers to the questions the media refused to ask. Questions about school safety that go far beyond the national gun debate. And the answers to those questions matter for parents, teachers, and schoolchildren nationwide.

If one single adult in the Broward County school district had made one responsible decision about the Parkland shooter, then my sister would still be alive. But every bad decision they made makes total sense once you understand the district’s politically correct policies, which started here in Broward and have spread to thousands of schools across America.”

—Hunter Pollack, “Foreword”

336 pages, Hardcover

First published September 10, 2019

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Andrew Pollack

6 books16 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 180 reviews
Profile Image for Gabriella Hoffman.
97 reviews37 followers
August 31, 2019
I’ve spent the better part of my Saturday reading this new book. This is one of the more difficult books I’ve read in a while, deconstructing how one of the worst mass shootings in US history was easily preventable. Trust me, you’ll want to add this to your reading listing.

Mr. Andrew Pollack, a father of a slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS student, Meadow Pollack, asked if I would review his book for The Resurgent and I immediately obliged. He coauthored it with Max Eden-whom I’ve met a time or two at DC functions. It couldn’t have been a better creative collaboration.

I’ll have a thorough assessment of the book after the holiday. If you’re unaware of how corrupt public education administrations are today, this book will challenge your conventional thinking on the subject...
1 review
September 24, 2019
This book is a MUST read for parents, teachers, school administrators, and politicians. Children need us to set our political parties aside and come together to end school violence. This book helps us dig deeper into the root cause.

When I closed the book and placed it down, my first thought was, “When did accountability and discipline develop a negative connotation in our country?” Today, discipline is almost stereotyped as a form of abuse. But, we need to ask ourselves, “Is it the lack of discipline that is causing the most harm?”

Discipline is love in action. When children make poor choices, the consequence sends the message that poor choices = a negative outcome. Isn’t that the same theory that holds true for us as adults? When we as adults make a bad decision, we must deal with the consequence life hands us. Consequences prepare children for life as an adult.

We should expect children to make mistakes. They’re children! Adam Osborne once said, “The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake. You can’t learn anything from being perfect.” A school with a perfect record, free of discipline infractions is a school filled with children who are not learning anything!

Broward County Public Schools failed Nicholas Cruz. They failed to hold him accountable for his actions, and they failed to provide guidance and consequences.
We can continue to scream “gun control” all day. You want extensive background checks? Guess what folks? Nicholas Cruz passed a background check! Perhaps, we should be shouting “Why?” instead.

I loved the book! My deepest condolences to the author. My prayer is that your book reaches opens minds who are willing to dig deeper into our country’s school violence problem. I hope this book encourages enough people to take action.

September 14, 2019
Must Read

I have personally read the MSD Commission report. It was only after reading this book that I was able to see ALL of the failures. From Broward County School Board, the administration of MSD, the ESE system in Broward. I originally thought the fault was mainly with BSO. Now I know that a murderer, who was once just a child in need of services in Broward county was failed. The victims, who were staff and children in Broward County suffered the worst possible outcome because of these failures. So many changes are needed. Buy this book, most importantly READ this book, and know what happened so that it can be prevented from happening again.
Profile Image for T.D. Krupp.
Author 2 books3 followers
September 24, 2019
Read Andy Pollacks’ book in one day. Am so enraged. Our schools have become so dystopian with ‘data driven’ leniency that Orwell or Huxley would think them too far-fetched. Must read!
Profile Image for TJL.
577 reviews37 followers
February 6, 2020
Madness. Absolute fucking madness.

I was a few months short of seven years-old when Columbine happened. My childhood education, as a Millennial, was underscored by the fact that school shootings are never, ever something to joke about, because a SWAT team will descend from the ceiling, guns blazing, to start interrogating you. Fuck me, even having a list of names in a journal was enough to get you hauled out to the principal's office for fear that you were writing a kill list.

But now, in the year of our lord 2020 (as I write this review), you are looking me dead-ass in the eye and telling me that this psycho went on Instagram, told classmates, told teachers, told family members, told FUCKING EVERYONE, that "I am going to shoot up MSD", and literally no one did anything about it?

This is clown-world. This is absolute fucking clown-world.

There were so many shocking things in this book, the least of which being that Andrew Pollack got told "Your daughter deserved to die" because he was a Trump supporter. That is disgusting and disappointing, but not even vaguely surprising because people are animals. Kudos to him for not hunting the idiots down and knocking their teeth in.

The one thing I am darkly surprised at after reading this is that Cruz didn't get into worse trouble for using racial slurs with great prejudice (literally and metaphorically) as he literally beat the shit out of a mixed-race kid. If you were going to ask me where the social justice types would draw the line, they usually draw it at race, not mental illness.

But then, that video never made it to youtube, did it? Nothing reminds a school administration of priorities like having that sort of video go viral.

This book was sad. Sad, and very, very important. I would call it "necessary", but with all the smug social justice-related books nowadays declaring themselves "so necessary", it's become a buzzword for me.
Profile Image for Anne Meyer.
212 reviews
December 9, 2019
I respect Andy Pollack, his position, the horror he's lived as a parent, and his passionate advocacy for change. I agree with him on many of his points, especially about the way that school districts tip-toe around special education students, particularly those who have shown clear violent tendencies and yet remain in buildings and in regular education classrooms. School systems absolutely need to look at those policies and make some realistic changes to ensure the safety of all students. Where I separate from Pollack is in his clearly partisan position on much of what he argues. While he says he saves the full-on partisan conversation for the epilogue, it was clear from the beginning where he stood on the issues. His criticism of and calling social justice a "industrial complex" is an inaccurate overgeneralization of an important movement that works to benefit many children in schools. Ultimately, this book does provide an important perspective to the critical conversation about how we best protect our students from the rampant plague of gun massacres on innocent children, but Pollack alone does not hold the solution. It's a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted approach to #fixit.
Profile Image for Jared.
8 reviews5 followers
September 20, 2019
Our educational systems are tainted for ever

I am giving this book a rating of 5 because all the information in this book is true and needs to be exposed. I am hoping that many parents read this and inspire them to get involved in their children's education to know the policies that their school board have implemented.
Profile Image for Alicia.
1,077 reviews26 followers
January 16, 2020
Fascinating non-fiction book by a father whose daughter was killed in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. He dissects this “most avoidable mass murder in American history” and lays out all the facts of the shooting, the shooter, and the school administrators who failed to protect the children on that tragic day. As a mother and a substitute teacher at the local high school, I found the discussion of failed school policies and leniency in the name of social justice absolutely sickening. Parents all around the country need to read this book and be aware of what is happening in school districts, then speak up to get policies changed that put our children in danger. Amazing, well-researched, eye-opening book.

“If one single adult in the Broward County school district had made one responsible decision about the Parkland shooter, then my sister would still be alive.”

“Some people might consider leaving a girl alone with a boy whom teachers considered profoundly dangerous, if not potentially murderous, to be child abuse. But in schools across the country, this is what passes for “social justice.”

“We’d like to think that school boards and school bureaucrats across America aren’t as morally bankrupt as those in Broward County. But the politically correct cancer of these leniency policies has spread to schools across America. The people you trust to run your child’s schools are operating under the same perverse moral incentives as Runcie and his colleagues: pressure school administrators to refuse to enforce the rules, then pat themselves on the back when everything looks better on paper.” -pp. 172-73

(warning: this book contains bad language)
13 reviews
October 9, 2019
Straightforward Depiction of Corruption, Mismanagement, and Betrayal That Caused the Parkland Massacre

It is hardly believable that such deliberate corruption can exist in this country without repercussions to the perpetrators. I’m not talking about the shooter. I’m talking about everyone in this pipeline of selfish, self-aggrandizing, and self-seeking individuals who manipulated their positions and power to serve their own agendas. From President Barack Obama to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, to Parkland Superintendent Robert Runcie, to the Parkland school board members, to the Assistant Principals, the school “resource officers,” and down to the school so-called security guards. This chain of command is as much at fault for the deaths of those 17 shooting victims as the shooter is. Not the teachers, however! They were simply used and abused in this tragedy. And NOT the gun fired at the victims. It could be called a left-wing “conspiracy” except it was the result of deliberate manipulative planning, deliberate non-implementation of proper safety measures, and self-serving politicians and bureaucrats who all had their own agendas, which were definitely NOT the safety of the children in their care! When the law should be applied in our country, it should be applied consistently to everyone; but evidently not in Parkland, FL. Or in Washington, D.C. It’s infuriating. And for the families of the dead, I simply cannot imagine their depth of rage. I can only pray they do not let it destroy them but that they continue to fight for accountability for those who still hold the same positions and offices they held when they betrayed those 17 victims. If you really want to know who is responsible for the 17 deaths, read this book.
Profile Image for Gen Daniels.
66 reviews5 followers
October 7, 2021
I appreciated reading this book. Heartbreaking & complex. Teachers do not have it easy. My heart goes out to the students & families.

I did not appreciate the blame on social & racial justice advocacy.

Profile Image for Liz Lazarus.
Author 3 books240 followers
June 3, 2021
A real eye opener into a systematic infusion of leniency in the school discipline process. Felonies were under reported, metrics were artificially impressive and teachers' opinions were all but brushed aside. Ironically, the goal of reducing the school to prison pipeline doesn't appear to be stopped, but just delayed. Kudos to Andrew Pollack and the team for telling such a revealing, poignant story and seeking the truth to honor his slain daughter. #fixit
Profile Image for Ms BookAholic.
198 reviews2 followers
May 18, 2021
I found this book at a Little Free Library. I decided to read a few pages and see what it was about. I instantly wanted to continue. The book is powerful. Reading through it really opens up your eyes about the safety of our schools.
Profile Image for Alexa .
200 reviews10 followers
March 31, 2021
Lots of thoughts. Will compose a review later (probably a quite lengthy one), but long story short: whatever your political affiliation, you need to read this book.
Profile Image for Maureen DeLuca.
1,025 reviews32 followers
May 13, 2020
This is a horrible true story of how our Education System has FAILED- big time. School taxes keep going up and up and up ..... and our public schools are nothing but a big fat failure! I knew about this "Promise Program" for quite a long time- so I wasn't surprised when something like this happened . It is a heart breaking read-
Profile Image for Carolyn Fitzpatrick.
735 reviews19 followers
October 30, 2021
I was a teacher in Broward County, not far from where the Parkland shooting occurred, and I did not like this book at all.

The author opposes discipline reform, restorative justice, and the practice of putting ESE students in the least restrictive environment. He describes all of these practices incorrectly. He rants about "politically correct" administrators intentionally and routinely not punishing black students for the sake of optics (false), and that this leading to white students not being punished either (also false). He describes instructors being rushed through ESE programs to get certified in something that they lack expertise in (true - this is an actual problem) but then he goes on to lament that the same instructors who don't understand what ESE students can do or need are no longer allowed to just boot kids that they have a "gut feeling" about. He talks about administrators intentionally avoiding suspensions and expulsions in order to make their schools look better, and instead of vilifying this practice he puts the blame on "data-driven decision making." He emphasizes that the shooter's mom may have been abusing crack cocaine during her pregnancy - even though sociopathic and violent crack babies is a disproven moral panic. He casually relates a story about a teacher warning a girl to not hug a classmate because the other student would go masturbate afterward, as an example of how the other student should not be in school with other kids rather than an example of a teacher providing way too much information to a high school girl. If the Cross Creek school was closed down, it was only temporary. It is still open today and has a 6:1 student-teacher ratio.

While the author does provide a lot of end notes, his sources are almost entirely limited to articles in local newspapers: Palm Beach Post, Miami Sun-Sentinel. Actual educators and teachers unions across the country support the practices that the author criticizes, when they are implemented correctly. Very little of his evidence comes from educators or legal experts, or from peer reviewed journals like these:
* Gage, N. A., Whitford, D. K., & Katsiyannis, A. (2018). A review of schoolwide positive behavior interventions and supports as a framework for reducing disciplinary exclusions. The Journal of Special Education, 52(3), 142–151. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022466918767847
* Stinchcomb, J. B., Bazemore, G., & Riestenberg, N. (2006). Beyond Zero Tolerance: Restoring Justice in Secondary Schools. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 4(2), 123–147. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541204006286287
* Yell, M. L., & Rozalski, M. E. (2000). Searching for safe schools: Legal issues in the prevention of school violence. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 8(3), 187–196. https://doi.org/10.1177/1063426600008...

All students benefit from the practice of including children who in another era would have been shunted off into special schools. Of course violent students should not be allowed among other kids, and retaining them to improve "the data" on a school is wrong. But blame those few negligent individuals, not the whole policy. To serve all students better, pay for better teacher training, smaller teacher-student ratios, and more support staff.
October 5, 2019
An amazing in depth look into the school system.

I heard Andy speak on the radio about this book and I wanted to learn more about the MDS and how it may have been prevented. This was an eye opener for me. Nothing can take away the pain of losing a family member in a mass shooting, but there are policies that can help mitigate the possibility of mass shootings.
I applaud Andy, Max, Kenny and the rest of the people that are working on making schools safer for the students, teachers, and other faculty members.
3 reviews2 followers
March 25, 2020
The first half of the book was gripping. I lost interest in his campaigning for school board members, and lost a little bit more interest each time the phrase “politically correct” was used (which is used at least 100 times throughout the book). Could not bring myself to finish the few pages when he started praising Betsy DeVos.
Profile Image for Robert Larson.
26 reviews2 followers
September 14, 2019
Extremely important to take time to read this work

Another very good book to read as well is THE PETER PRINCIPLE (people in bureaucracies tend to rise to their highest level of incompetence). That book explains the concept and this book fills in the blanks....
Profile Image for Gini.
4 reviews
September 16, 2019
Stunning and heartbreaking book about the Stoneman Douglas “monster” and the failed “system that created him.” Kudos to Andrew Pollock for his mission to #fixit and fill his book with facts about the school system that will scare every parent.
Profile Image for Brandi.
561 reviews1 follower
January 19, 2020
I feel the deepest sympathy for Andy Pollack who lost his daughter Meadow, and all the other families affected by mass shootings in schools.

I respect his efforts to find and expose the truth and the essential reporting done in this book.

There is little doubt that the Broward County School district failed to protect the students at MSDH and failed to properly deal with Cruz throughout his school career. This is information that the public has a right to and I am grateful for the full picture laid out here.

Yet the conclusion drawn that school policies like “least restrictive environment” and “response to intervention” as well as programs designed to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline are left-wing liberals’ “politically correct” excuse to make themselves look better feels suspiciously like an attempt to divert blame from where it should be laid, at the feet of those who used these policies incorrectly in Broward County Schools, and instead place the blame on Democrats and the “social justice industrial complex.” Despite Pollack’s claim that he wanted to leave his politics out of the book, there was a clear partisan stance in the way the facts were interpreted here.

As a public school educator for 12 years, I can say without reservation that none of the administrators, teachers, or other school officials I have known have ever displayed the kind of reprehensibly lax response to behaviors such as those displayed by Cruz due to such policies as mentioned in this book. These policies in no way directly caused the individuals responsible for decision-making regarding Cruz to make the choices they made. As reported in this book, in many cases the educators involved didn’t even know the actual policies, and in other instances made their own poor decisions on how to interpret the policies.

Is this a wake-up call for educators to evaluate their policies? Yes. Does what happened in Broward County mean the policies are inherently wrong/harmful? No. Could they be? Of course. It wouldn’t be the first time a public education policy turned out to not be effective. I hope school districts across the country are continually evaluating their policies, but the first step in evaluating a policy’s success depends on how well the policy is being implemented by those responsible for doing so.

In conclusion, I will say that I agree this is not strictly a gun control issue. While I wouldn’t argue against stricter gun control laws, simply making it more difficult to legally obtain firearms would not put an end to the problem. The answer lies somewhere in how schools are equipped to respond to cases like Cruz’s and what mental health supports are available. In the case of Cruz, the appropriate supports were available, but due to poor decision-making by the individuals involved, he did not have access to them as he should have. But in many school districts, supportive environments such as those available to Cruz don’t even exist.
Profile Image for Brenda.
133 reviews
October 3, 2022
Those five stars are not for a book in which the writing is well done; they are for a book where they dig deep on subject matter and share information that anyone who cares about public education should read.

Andy Pollack set out to find some answers after his daughter was murdered in the Parkland, FL school shooting that killed 17 people. It seems the more he dug for answers, the more questions he had, but ultimately he found his answers. And the answers he found apply to all of us because the policies and failures that allowed the shooting to happen in Parkland have found their way into most, if not all, public school systems in this country.

This book lays out how it all happened and why these failed policies and ideas have persisted. While this may sound dry, the book benefits from being written by laypeople because it's conversational in tone, making it easier to follow and more relatable.

Ultimately (and sadly), what made this book most relatable for me was the eerie similarities throughout the book between the Parkland school system and the one in which my kids attend school. The similarities ranged from policies to school culture/climate, from behavior systems being used to address student behavior to tactics used by school system administrators to deflect questions and instead share talking points that inflate their own status. It was truly frightening to find so many similarities. It felt scripted or like I was reading about my own system.

I highly encourage everyone to take the time to read this to truly understand what's going on in our school systems.
Profile Image for Elise.
53 reviews1 follower
February 15, 2023
Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher Kim Krawczyk: “This is on us. This is society. This is what America has come to. My generation just decided that we all wanted McMansions, so we maxed out our credit cards and doubled down on the rat race, thinking we could have it all. But someone always pays. And it’s the kids who are paying because we’re not paying any attention to them. Not really. We send them off to day care, to summer camp. We buy a house near the picture-perfect school: the best school in Florida! Then we congratulate ourselves on being great parents. But do we ever actually go to the school? Do we take any interest in what happens there? No! We let activists and bureaucrats force policies down teachers’ throats to make the school look better on paper. Then, if we even notice, we applaud ourselves for sending our kid to the safest school in Florida!”

Krawczyk stated this in frustration after a hard-fought bid for school board election failed to flip a few seats in the wake of the MSD/Parkland shooting. The irony she conveys is that MSD was incredibly unsafe and unfortunately was the site for the most preventable school shooting in history, but few sought to investigate what really created the tragedy. What's interesting to me is that I remember very little of the Parkland shooting, and perhaps it is because rather than focusing on the specific details of a school shooting, the media and politicians turn it into the same pointless NRA debate every time. The March for Our Lives, an MSD student-led demonstration in support of gun control legislation, likely sticks out in the memory of most people when they think back on Parkland. What should instead be highlighted in our minds is the contents of this book. This book not only explains how the Parkland shooting was allowed to happen, it explains the pitfalls in our school system today surrounding discipline, as well as the rampant administrative corruption, which all occur in the name of political correctness, unsurprisingly.

I will never not recommend this book. The author Andy Pollack is a passionate father and his work for this cause is extremely admirable and important, especially knowing all the opposition he and his friends have faced. The only critique I offer is that where Pollack does tend to place immense deserving blame on the Broward County superintendent, board and staff, he should also expound on the shooter being responsible for his own actions and the inevitable judgement he will face in this life and eternally.
11 reviews
June 29, 2022
No matter your political affiliation, this book shows so much insight into the background behind a school shooting. As a teacher, I’m
Disgusted how corrupt the system is in this Florida district. Andrew Pollack, the dad of Meadow, is a courageous man for devoting his time to uncovering this. Worth a read especially if you are a part of our educational system. (Side note, I didn’t love the end and the peek into the BOE race but it does show the continued steps of corruption even after the shooting).
Profile Image for michaela.
45 reviews1 follower
August 3, 2022
had to read parts at a time because of how scary, frustrating, and heavy this book is. sometimes it’s the system that’s broken, and no matter how hard you try to make a difference some times the bad guys continue to win. i could not imagine being a parent in this school district and not raising hell.
Profile Image for Janette.
220 reviews
June 16, 2020
An outstanding and fair analysis of the disaster that liberal Democrat policies have made of our public school system. Should absolutely be required reading for every student, parent, teacher, and American.
1 review
September 20, 2019
This book is powerful, emotional, and eye opening. You can truly see and feel the heart ache, heart break, and desperation for the truth. If yiubare a parent, grand parent, teacher, family member of a teacher, or just someone who love and cares for children, teachers, school, then this book is a must read. I can't recommend it enough!
39 reviews2 followers
December 21, 2019
Disturbing evidence about how an entire school system failed to protect students and teachers. Politics, miscommunication, pubic indifference, and tragedy.
Profile Image for Lisa  Keegan.
751 reviews4 followers
November 21, 2019
if even half of what was said in this book, this one was effed up school situation. This didn't need to happen and it wasn't about the guns!
10 reviews
September 28, 2021
This book reminded me of watching Chernobyl on HBO. The scariest thing wasn't necessarily the nuclear disaster itself but the near total rejection of reality by those in power. In this book, the scariest things to read about weren't the shooting itself, but the same kind of reality rejection by the school system before and after it.

The cover blames "people and policies" that created the incident. I don't have strong opinions about guns, but I was skeptical of how the school system could be blamed for a mass shooting. Before I read the book, I would have dismissed the idea as some misguided attempt to blame the *somebody* for it beyond the killer himself, the way people blame the NRA or drugs or video games or anything else that's not, you know, the actual killer. Welp, turns out I had no idea.

The bulk of the book focuses on explaining how Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) administrators consistently falsified documents and statistics in order to make it appear as though their school was rapidly decreasing their student discipline problem when in reality it was spiraling out of control. The problem is the classic self-grading problem. Teachers and staff were penalized for reporting bad behavior and attempting to correct it. Why? Because it was assumed that the report stemmed from bigotry rather than student behavior. Insofar as they tried anyway, mid-level managers above them willfully refused to discipline children or even document things properly. Why? Because the mid-level people running the school were penalized by the high level people if the school overall had bad numbers. Why? Because the high level people had simply declared reality into existence that discipline needed to go down since they were the cause of the discipline problems, rather than the signal. Anyone who questioned the efficacy of the plan with real data was demoted, branded a bigot, harassed, or otherwise intimidated. Thus, the entire incentive structure essentially forced teachers and staff to either lie or find work elsewhere.

The self-grading problem has a fancy eponymous name: Campbell's Law, which says that if you use a social measure as a policy target, the measurement itself will become corrupted by the incentives to produce the "right" numbers rather than the accurate numbers. You may as well have asked the students to grade their own papers and threatened to expel that if their GPA fell below 4.

The mandatory lying dovetailed with the administration's exceptionally lenient punishment system. Now, you would be perfectly justified in asking - what's this discipline problem about? Schools have been paragons of oppressive strictness for centuries - perhaps MSD was really too harsh. Say, what were the actual infractions? Well, we're talking fights, throwing furniture, punching holes in the wall, bringing weapons to school, sexual assault, and a list of other felonies. The school had all kinds of paperwork detailing how to deal with felonies. *Felonies.* The punishment? Well, usually it was a walk to the office and back, and more serious offenses merited suspensions for a day or so, but nothing meaningful or effective, certainly not for problem kids. The school policy documents even explicitly allowed convicted felons back into the school. Speaking of which...

The book details the issues with the shooter himself at length. He had the police called on him 45 times throughout high school, was diagnosed with multiple mental health and learning disabilities, including serious behavioral issues, was well-known to students and teachers to be obsessed with guns, war, terrorists, and the military, had a long history of killing animals (including his own cat), physically and sexually assaulting other students, hurling racial epithets, and even flat out saying that he was going to shoot up the school. That was just one run-on sentence. The book has 76 pages on his issues alone. It doesn't take much to see how things ended up the way they did.

The book chiefly blames Robert Runcie, the superintendent who repeatedly lied to the public about how the school was run both before and after the shooting, as documented by publics records and the Sun Sentinel newspaper. As of this writing has since been indicted on charges of perjury. Of particular note - he removed all questions about safety from the school survey given to students and teachers when the new (non)-discipline rules were established, and stopped the survey entirely the year after. In this way and dozens others detailed in the book, he and other top level players knew exactly what was going on, hid as much evidence as they could, and then turned around and proclaimed "See, no evidence of problems here! None whatsoever." What Runcie and friends didn't explain was that the evidence "didn't exist" because they simply refused to record it, so all comparisons were completely fraudulent. Records that did exist were leaked when, for example, the someone who redacted the shooter's major internal records thought that highlighting the PDF in black got rid of the text. Despite working in a school system, Robert Runcie claimed to not know it was possible to copy PDF text into a Word document like that. Runcie also gave himself and other high level admins raises or bonuses in the aftermath of the shooting, but teachers who saw children die had their pay docked for taking time off and never received any of the support, such as therapy, from the school, either.

The book drags on towards the end when it details an ill-fated political campaign to flip the school board in agonizing detail. One of the authors, Pollack, engages in some soap-boxing, but I think anyone dismissing him as a "Trumper" for not blaming the NRA would have a hard time explaining how asking for existing gun and safety laws to be enforced (a fairly pro gun-control stance), for sane methods of school discipline to prevail, and for special ed students like the shooter to not have to fight for proper care is some kind of radical idea.

In total, the book was a fast and good (though maddening) read. The book is mostly packed with first person accounts, news reports, documents, quotes, and so forth, so even assuming you don't share any politics with Pollack or Eden, the disturbing reality of the MSD school system and the failure of its policies is established in suffocating detail. It's enlightening as a case study on pathological organizations, incentives, and human nature.
Profile Image for R.E. Bryant.
Author 1 book8 followers
October 6, 2019
Jaw dropping!!!

I could hardly believe what I was reading, and maybe you will too. But because the information contained in this book would likely be challenged and called “fake” or “misguided” or even “racist”, the authors made sure to reference their findings. I know what they are saying is true because the first few pages of this book were familiar to me because of what my wife and friends who are educators have told me what is going on in their districts before I read it, and now it makes sense. Teachers are being taught that they must unlearn what they know because they were taught incorrectly or better yet, they are inherently racist but just don’t know it. They are blind to their own racism. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it, but this book proved what is happening in our children’s schools and how political correctness and activists are taking over our schools and making them far less safe for our children. Thank you Andy! I knew from the first day I saw this man on the news that he meant business, and personally I wish I never heard or learned his name on the news because I’d much rather he had his daughter to hold each day, but I never could have imagined he and his team could have uncovered and exposed what they did. Keep going, Andy. You know she would want you to.
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