90 Miles From Tyranny : Obama-Era Policies Helped Keep Parkland Shooter Under the Radar. Here’s What Went Wrong.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Obama-Era Policies Helped Keep Parkland Shooter Under the Radar. Here’s What Went Wrong.

One of the most heartbreaking and perhaps infuriating aspects of the Florida school shooting that took 17 lives is just how many red flags there were surrounding the shooter.

The national debate following the shooting has mostly revolved around guns. Much ink has also (rightly) been spilled about the failed leadership of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in its moment of crisis.

What’s been lost in this discussion are the issues of school safety and discipline. Those issues are highly relevant to what took place in Parkland.

Prior to the mass shooting, Nikolas Cruz was involved in a huge number of incidents on and off campus, numerous calls were made to the police, and the was FBI even involved. He certainly appeared to be a ticking time bomb.

It would seem that somewhere along the way, he should have been stopped before the shooting took place.

But that wasn’t the case.

Max Eden, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, explained in City Journal how an Obama-era Department of Education initiative designed to put an end to the “school to prison pipeline,” combined with local mismanagement, helped allow the shooter to fall through the cracks.

“[I]n 2013, the school board and the sheriff’s office agreed on a new policy to discontinue police referrals for a dozen infractions ranging from drug use to assault,” Eden wrote.

A separate report by RealClearInvestigations found that Broward County was part of a “vanguard of a strategy, adopted by more than 50 other major school districts nationwide, allowing thousands of troubled, often violent, students to commit crimes without legal consequence.”

This was part of a larger Obama administration effort, launched in 2011, to reduce racial disparities in school discipline numbers, according to RealClearInvestigations.

“Students charged with various misdemeanors, including assault, would now be disciplined through participation in ‘healing circles,’ obstacle courses, and other ‘self-esteem building’ exercises,” the report said.

“We must ensure that school discipline is being handled by trained educators, not by law enforcement officers,” said former Secretary of Education John King in 2016. “Some schools are simply turning misbehaving students over to [school resource officers]. This can set students on a path to dropping out or even to prison.”

Florida’s Broward County, which is where the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting took place, was a leader in adopting this new program and was even touted for it by former Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The number of school arrests dropped dramatically in the years that followed, but that didn’t mean serious crimes weren’t...Read More HERE

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