Tag Archives: Parkland

California’s Ban on School Suspensions Invites Another Parkland

California’s Ban on School Suspensions Invites Another ParklandMy daughter Meadow was murdered in the Parkland school shooting in Florida last year. It was the most avoidable mass murder in American history. And last week, Governor Gavin Newsom just forced into every school in California the policies that made it inevitable.The Parkland shooter was a known-wolf. Before the massacre was over, students knew who did it. He was considered so dangerous when he attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that school administrators banned him from bringing a backpack and frisked him every day for fear that he’d bring a deadly weapon.Even though security staff brought him to the principal’s office all the time, his disciplinary record looked pretty clean on paper. If he had been arrested at school for his crimes, maybe the FBI could have followed through on tips that he would shoot up the school. And if he’d been disciplined for his sub-criminal misbehavior, maybe school administrators could have made a strong case for sending him back to a specialized school for disturbed students, where he so badly needed to be.But the Broward County school district had embarked on a quest to fight the “school-to-prison pipeline” by lowering suspensions, expulsions, and arrests. And school principals responded by systematically sweeping disturbing behavior under the rug. If one individual in the Broward school district made one responsible decision about the killer, the tragedy could have been averted. But you can’t even call what happened a “failure,” because each obviously irresponsible decision makes perfect sense given the policies.The state of California has just lurched far harder on leniency than Broward, by banning suspensions and expulsions for nonviolent offenses.Don’t you dare think that in practice this leniency won’t extend to violence, though. In Broward, 52 percent of teachers fear for their safety. Twenty-four percent have been threatened. Thirteen percent have been assaulted. And only 39 percent think that a student would be suspended if he assaulted them.Beyond leading to an increase in school violence and risk of deadly catastrophe, these leniency policies are profoundly bad for learning and for character. We know what happens when schools ban suspension.In Philadelphia, math proficiency declined by three percentage points, and reading proficiency by seven. Truancy skyrocketed from about 25 percent to over 40 percent, perhaps because even as suspensions for nonviolent offenses fell, suspensions for serious offenses rose.Education researcher Dominic Zarecki studied the effects of suspension bans in several California districts: Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and Pasadena. The harm to math achievement was large enough to take a student from the 50th percentile to the 39th percentile after three years.Anti-discipline advocates claim that suspensions can be replaced by “restorative justice” and “healing circles.” In reality, that does further damage. A gold-standard study from the RAND corporation found that in Pittsburgh, “restorative justice” harmed academic achievement among black students.Anti-discipline advocates claim that they are fighting the “school-to-prison pipeline.” In reality, their policies increase the flow. The idea that not holding kids accountable for their actions will make them more law-abiding as adults is idiotic. If we tell juveniles there are no consequences for misbehavior, we set them up for failure in the workplace. And we put them at risk for a hard reckoning when they find that behavior that didn’t even get them suspended in school gets them a felony charge when they hit age 18.For evidence, look no further than Los Angeles. As the school board banned suspensions, referrals to law enforcement increased 145 percent. And last year, threats of violence in Los Angeles schools increased by 70 percent.I sent my daughter to public school thinking she was safe. I had no idea there was a kid there so dangerous that they frisked him every day. I had no idea that the school was systematically covering up threats and violence. I didn’t know.I can’t let any other parent make that excuse. That’s why I wrote a book to tell the true story of Parkland. I don’t expect that this article or that book, or that anything, really, will convince the Democratic politicians who run California to think twice about this terrible mistake. My whole life’s mission now is to inform parents.Chances are, your kid won’t get murdered at school. But you have to know about the type of environment you’re putting your child in. Public school in California is now a place where disruption, threats, and even violence can’t even be punished.My advice to California parents: Stretch your wallet to send them to private school. Or keep them in public school and roll the dice.



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Parkland students unveil gun violence prevention plan: 'Policymakers have failed, so survivors are stepping up'

Parkland students unveil gun violence prevention plan: 'Policymakers have failed, so survivors are stepping up'March For Our Lives, the group formed by the Parkland students in the wake of the mass shooting at their school in February 2018, has unveiled a new plan for gun control.The Peace Plan is a six-step proposal focused on changing gun laws in America to prevent mass shootings, which continue to ravage the country. The students call their steps C.H.A.N.G.E., with each letter spelling out a goal.



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Parkland students announce gun control plan, aim to halve gun violence rate in 10 years

Parkland students announce gun control plan, aim to halve gun violence rate in 10 years"A Green New Deal, but for guns," quipped March for Our Lives co-founder Jaclyn Corin.



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Biden Says He Was Vice President During Parkland Shooting

Biden Says He Was Vice President During Parkland Shooting(Bloomberg) — Joe Biden said he was vice president when the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, took place. Except, it happened in 2018, more than a year after he left office — the latest gaffe by the Democratic presidential front-runner.Biden told reporters in Iowa on Saturday that “those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president.” But when they visited Capitol Hill to talk with members of Congress, lawmakers were “basically cowering, not wanting to see them. They did not want to face it on camera.”The former vice president was making a point about the changing conversation around gun violence in this country, and how as more and more ordinary people are touched by mass shootings, they are more likely to call for action.An official with the Biden campaign said the former vice president was thinking of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when he misspoke. That attack, in which 20 children between six and seven years old were killed along with six staff members, was in December 2012.Survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, made national headlines for their demonstrations and calls for action, including visits by some students to the nation’s capital. The shooting, the deadliest high school killing spree in U.S. history, occurred on Feb. 14, 2018, and left 17 dead and injured more than a dozen others. The assailant was an expelled student.Biden, along with former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat who was shot in the head during an event with constituents in Tucson in 2011, met with Stoneman students in Washington days after the 2018 incident.The statement was the latest in a string of gaffes that have plagued Biden on the campaign trail. On Thursday, Biden, 76, told a group of Asian and Hispanic voters that “poor kids are just as bright” as white children. And last week he referred to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, as having taken place in Houston and Michigan.In both cases he quickly caught himself. And on Saturday Biden told reporters he misspoke on his “poor kids” comment but said that overall, people understood the point he was trying to make.“I don’t think anybody thinks I meant anything other than what I said I meant,” Biden said.President Donald Trump, who’s spending the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, was quick to seize on Biden’s blunder. He said on Twitter that the former vice president “doesn’t have a clue.” (Updates with Trump tweet in final paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Emma Kinery in Washington at ekinery@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Ian FisherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Father of Parkland shooting victim tells El Paso residents to ‘get mad’ over Walmart massacre: ‘Scream, shout, do something’

Father of Parkland shooting victim tells El Paso residents to ‘get mad’ over Walmart massacre: ‘Scream, shout, do something’The father of the one of the Parkland shooting victims has urged the city of El Paso to “get mad” in the aftermath of the Walmart shooting that left 22 dead, saying: “Get out there, scream, shout, do something.”Manuel Oliver and his wife, Patricia, have been travelling the world in the days and months since their 19-year-old son, Joaquin, was killed in the February 2018 school shooting that left 17 students and staff dead, campaigning for gun control.They were in El Paso to unveil a mural that Mr Oliver, an artist whose family was originally from Venezuela, had painted on the walls of an immigration rights organisation. Their son had long been a champion of humane treatment of migrants.On Saturday morning, they heard about the reports of an active shooter at one of the city’s Walmart stores, and were again jolted with pain.“We are continuing the fight,” Mr Oliver said, speaking at a vigil outside the NGO’s offices this week, that was also addressed by former congressman Beto O’Rourke. He said in the aftermath of mass shootings, politicians often claimed it was “not the time” to talk about gun control out of respect to relatives of those killed and injured.“This is the moment to talk about guns,” he said, to large applause. “We know what those families are going through. Their lives will never be the same again, and they’re expecting you do do something about it.”In a video message posted online, Mr Oliver doubled down on his call for residents of the city “to get mad”.“Get out there, scream, shout, do something,” he said. “I know how game works. You have to protect your city and your citizens. You’ve got to get angry, and not take this so easily. You’ve got to be mad and take action.”Over the weekend, the Olivers said their son’s memory was now linked to two places that shared a mass shooting outrage.“This is unbelievable. I heard that El Paso is considered one of the safest cities in the country. I heard the same story about Parkland. They were on the same list,” Ms Oliver told the Associated Press. Her husband said it was a “terrible coincidence”.The mural he created features images of crying children inside window bars to create the image of cells along with likenesses of his wife and their son. Last year, he painted a similar piece on fences in Tijuana, Mexico.After the shooting on Saturday, Mr Oliver made an addition to the mural in El Paso, painting the words “El Paso no está solo”, or “El Paso is not alone”.



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Harvard Rescinds Acceptance of Pro-Gun Parkland Survivor Over Past Racist Comments

Harvard Rescinds Acceptance of Pro-Gun Parkland Survivor Over Past Racist CommentsKashuv writes that he was embarrassed of the comments he made and that they were "not indicative of who I am or who I've become in the years since."



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Parkland school shooting survivor loses admission to Harvard after racist comments surface

Parkland school shooting survivor loses admission to Harvard after racist comments surfaceGun rights supporter Kyle Kashuv said that he's grown since making the comments and that Harvard, which has its own racist history, should understand that.



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Another Parkland Student Has Died by Apparent Suicide

Another Parkland Student Has Died by Apparent SuicideThe death follows the recent suicide of Parkland shooting survivor Sydney Aiello



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Parkland students mourn the deaths of two more after apparent suicides

Parkland students mourn the deaths of two more after apparent suicidesPolice investigate death of another teen who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school and was said to have had PTSDA memorial for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, on 25 February 2018. Photograph: David Santiago/APStudents of a Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last year are mourning the deaths of what they consider two more victims of the tragedy – teenagers who apparently died in suicides one week apart.Police were on Monday investigating the weekend death of a 17-year-old boy who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) high school in Parkland. Friday saw the funeral of former student Sydney Aiello, 19, whose family said she was suffering from “survivor’s guilt” and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.Community and school leaders were stepping up the provision of mental health and suicide-prevention services, including the opening on Monday of a wellness and counselling center in Parkland specifically designed for students and their families.Dozens of parents, teachers, school leaders, state and local politicians, law enforcement and mental health counsellors attended an emergency meeting in Parkland on Sunday, to discuss the crisis and ways to tackle lingering grief and trauma.“We have students and staff that are still at risk,” said Ryan Petty, who founded the Walkup Foundation, a school safety and advocacy group, after his 14-year-old daughter Alaina was among those murdered on 14 February 2018.“We have to recognise after an event like this there is trauma, anxiety and depression. We have to educate parents and teachers to recognise the signs,” he told the meeting. “Parents cannot be afraid to ask their kids the tough questions.”By lunchtime on Monday, police had not released the identity of the 17-year-old male student.“I can’t tell you if it’s related to the Parkland shooting,” Tyler Reik, an officer with Coral Springs police, said on Sunday. “We don’t know the reasoning behind it. It hasn’t even been confirmed as a suicide.”Robert Runcie, superintendent of the Broward county school district, said he spent Sunday with the family of the 10th-grade student, “a great young man”. Earlier in the week he spoke with the family of Aiello, who graduated from MSD last year and was attending college in nearby Boca Raton.Aiello, whose close friend Meadow Pollack was killed in the Parkland shooting, died on 17 March from a self-inflicted gunshot, according to the medical examiner’s office.In a call to families of Broward’s 271,000 students on Monday, the first day of spring break, Runcie laid out the support available “in the wake of two suicides that have devastated our community”.He pointed to a resiliency centre in Parkland staffed by mental health counsellors and free activities for students at the Coral Springs arts center. Additionally, the opening of Eagle’s Haven, a new wellness centre for MSD students and families offering crisis support, advocacy and a range of activities, was brought forward from next month.“There is hope, there is help and there is healing,” Runcie said.Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s director of emergency management operations and a former state representative for Parkland, called on politicians to send resources to the district.“Now is the time for the Florida legislature to help,” he said in a tweet. “Mental health is a bipartisan issue. While we are in session now is the time.”Activist David Hogg, a former MSD student who co-founded the March For Our Lives movement calling for gun law reform, echoed Moskowitz’s call, tweeting his concern at what he saw as a lack of support for survivors’ mental health.“How many more kids have to be taken from us as a result of suicide for the government/school district to do anything? RIP 17+2” he wrote.In a later tweet he attacked Donald Trump for spending money on golf trips but failing to offer funding for mental health services. The president’s federal commission on school safety, which issued its report in December, acknowledged “a lack of mental health professionals in schools” but left any rectification and financial commitment to states and school districts.If Trump “can spend $ 91,000,000 on golf trips to Mar-a-Lago while our kids suffer from trauma he can fund mental health”, Hogg wrote. “If mental health is your solution PLEASE make that a priority. Please allocate that money.”Sunday’s gathering in Parkland was “the first of many meetings with all city, county and mental health experts in order to make sure our students, teachers and parents receive the education they need to prevent the next suicide”, according to Max Schachter, whose son Alex was killed at MSD.The meeting, with the support of the Broward school district, agreed to adopt the renowned Columbia protocol as a strategy for suicide prevention. The protocol provides three to six plain-language questions for friends and family members to ask, in order to evaluate a person’s risk. * In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org



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Second survivor of Parkland shooting dies in 'apparent suicide', reports say

Second survivor of Parkland shooting dies in 'apparent suicide', reports sayA second survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has died, police have confirmed. The Coral Springs Police Department was quoted in US media as saying the student had died in an “apparent suicide” on Saturday. Sydney Aiello, who was a student at the school when the shooting occurred, died last Sunday.



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