Andrew Pollack, father of a slain Parkland, Florida, student says the “breaking news” that Broward school officials now admit confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz was assigned to the controversial PROMISE school disciplinary program is not “news” to him.
“We’ve known this for a month,” Pollack told Breitbart News during an interview Monday. “We’ve been working on this. It was not ‘breaking news’ to us. We came to this conclusion a while ago, and now we’ll be putting the puzzle together for everybody. One by one, we’ll expose everything that happened that led up to February 14.”
Pollack’s daughter Meadow, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, died during the massacre along with 16 other people:
I am not doing this to get famous, I am doing this so no family ever again has to feel the way my family feels. There are no excuses! We must have proper security in every school in America! I will not stop until that is accomplished. We must #FixIt! #MeadowsMovement pic.twitter.com/Hz6v9S9vrI
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) April 11, 2018
On Sunday, Broward County school officials admitted that Cruz had been assigned to the PROMISE program while in middle school. Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie had been stating that there could be no connection between the PROMISE program and the shooting because Cruz had not been assigned to that program while in high school.
In March, Runcie wrote, “Contrary to media reports, the district has no record of Nikolas Cruz committing a PROMISE eligible infraction or being assigned to PROMISE while in high school.”
According to a report at WLRN, the Broward Sheriff’s Office also said regarding Cruz, “The school board reports that there was no PROMISE program participation.”
The school district now admits, however, that Cruz was referred to PROMISE while in middle school following a vandalism incident. However, Tracey Clark, a spokeswoman for Runcie, also said, “It does not appear that Cruz completed the recommended three-day assignment/placement,” and added she did not want to “speculate” as to why.
“My goal is to expose this whole disciplinary matrix of Broward County, including this PROMISE program,” Pollack says. “I could agree that every kid should get a second chance, but this program does not help society as it is.”
The PROMISE program allows eligible students who commit any of 13 misdemeanors at school to avoid suspension, expulsion, and arrest. Instead, students receive “restorative justice” counseling in “talking circles” and other forms of therapy. The PROMISE collaborative agreement specifically mentions that “students of color, students with disabilities and LGBTQ students are disproportionately impacted by school-based arrests for the same behavior as their peers.”
Before becoming superintendent in Broward County, Runcie had worked in Chicago for former Obama-era Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Runcie’s PROMISE program likely inspired the Obama administration’s national school discipline policy that was aimed at ending the “school to prison pipeline.” Ultimately, the administration coerced school districts into allowing behavior by minority students that normally would have resulted in suspension, expulsion, or arrest to go unreported. Districts were threatened with the possibility of federal investigation and loss of funding if their statistics showed disproportionately more minority students arrested and suspended.
Pollack says that his research tells him PROMISE is “a lax program.”
“Trust me, there’s going to be other crimes that he committed,” he explains. “Everyone’s talking about gun laws, but everybody can agree that a psychopathic criminal shouldn’t be able to get a weapon. So [Cruz] was a psychopath and they didn’t follow up with it. Everybody knew he was a psychopath, and he wasn’t diagnosed or Baker Act-ed, and he was a criminal. And they didn’t follow through on his criminal activities at the school.”
Pollack says laws that are already in place would have prevented Cruz from obtaining a weapon.
“If they would have just followed the laws that are in place, preventing a psychopathic criminal from getting a rifle, he wouldn’t have been able to get it, and he probably would have been flagged by the FBI,” he asserts. “So, when kids talk about all this, they should realize what led to that February 14 event. The laws are in place, but they failed everybody, the people in that school. The school board, Runcie, the teachers – they’re the ones. These psychopaths had a lot of rights – more rights than what my daughter had.”
Pollack filed a wrongful death lawsuit last week against Parkland school resource officer Scot Peterson, who became the subject of intense criticism when it was revealed he failed to enter the school building while the shooting was taking place.
“But, we’re going to uncover this, one by one,” Pollack says. “Everybody wants the truth to come out.”