Trump and the Federal Commission on School Safety

I saw a Trump campaign ad featuring Andrew Pollack tonight. If you’re unaware, Pollack is the father of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, a victim of the Parkland school shooting. In this ad Pollack mentions his daughter, as a picture of her appears on screen and talks about how she died. He goes on to blame Obama’s “restorative justice policies.”

I don’t believe that Mr. Pollack understands what restorative justice is.

In this video from the RNC you can hear an expanded version of why Mr. Pollack believes that restorative justice killed his daughter. Specifically, he believes that restorative justice means that the offender gets to blame someone else for their crime, in this case, the teachers.

This is simply untrue.

The offender in the Parkland shooting had no criminal record, but had many complaints against him that fell through the cracks because the school system and the Sheriff’s department didn’t have the time or the resources to evaluate and act on this young man’s mental health.

That’s not an excuse. He committed an atrocity, and, in my opinion, he deserves the death penalty. But all this loss of life could have been prevented.

Not with gun laws.

Not with more cops.

NOT with metal detectors and armed guards in the schools.

With trained professionals to handle and defuse difficult situations BEFORE a gunman shows up at a school.

“School shooters don’t simply ‘snap’ … improving school safety cannot focus solely on mitigating incidents of violence. Successful efforts must improve the culture in which students live and learn.”

Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety

“Create “positive climates” that focus on preventing misbehavior and rely on strategies like social-emotional learning programs, peer mediation and restorative justice. The guidelines called school-based mental health professionals critical to identifying students’ needs, providing mental health support based on those needs and helping teachers better understand students’ developmental needs and respond to behavioral issues. Partnerships with community-based mental health agencies and child welfare agencies can help fill in staffing gaps to better support students’ needs, the guidelines said.”

Obama Administration Unveils School Discipline Guidelines

Interesting that Trump threw, and continues to throw, his predecessor under the bus but he spent nine months coming to the same conclusion.

Maybe that money could have been better spent on applying what we already knew to help the schools.