A Long Island native whose daughter was killed in the Parkland school massacre two years ago endorsed President Donald Trump’s re-election during a speech Monday at the Republican National Convention.
Andrew Pollack, an Oceanside High School graduate who moved to Florida in 1999, said after his 18-year-old daughter Meadow was fatally shot, he was pleased that Trump launched a school safety commission after inviting Pollack to the White House.
“He’s a good man and a great listener and he cuts through the BS,” Pollack said in his five-minute speech.
Pollack isn’t the only LI native who lost a daughter in the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students and staffers dead. Fred Guttenberg, who grew up in East Northport, became an advocate for stricter gun control laws after his 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was also killed in Parkland.
“Gun control laws didn’t fail my daughter, people did,” said Pollack, blaming “far-left Democrats” in the school district for ignoring red flags that the gunman was a threat to the community.
Pollack blamed the school’s use of restorative justice, a policy that prioritizes rehabilitating offenders instead of traditional forms of punishment.
“This policy — which really just blames teachers for students’ failures — puts kids and teachers at risk, and makes shootings more likely,” he said. “But it was billed as a pioneering approach to discipline and safety. I was just fine with the old approach to discipline and safety — it was called discipline and safety.”
While the school had adopted restorative justice policies, the Parkland shooter was subject to both in-school and at-home suspensions and was expelled a year before the shooting. Law enforcement missed multiple opportunities to arrest the shooter for reported threats before the shooting, the Miami Herald reported.
Pollack said he is concerned that former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Trump, has backed restorative justice in his campaign.
“I truly believe the safety of our kids depends on whether this man is re-elected,” Pollack said of Trump.