Book Review: ‘Why Meadow Died’

This article appeared in Washington Times on September 13, 2019.
Share

Book Review of Why Meadow Died, by Andrew Pollack & Max Eden (Post Hill Press, 336 pp.)

A sick person killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last year. Conventional wisdom is that enacting various gun control laws, including banning assault weapons, is the solution to school shootings.

But as Andrew Pollack, the father of one of the Parkland victims, and Max Eden, an education policy expert, explain in their new book “Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies that Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students,” the story is far more complicated than that. 

As the book’s title suggests, government policy bears significant blame for the Parkland tragedy.

The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, showed serious signs of violent and erratic behavior for years. He mutilated animals, brought bullets to school, made death threats and attempted suicide. And everyone — local and federal law enforcement, school staff, teachers, students and his family — knew it.

Police officers were called to his house 45 times before the tragedy. His mother’s friend called the sheriff’s office, telling them “this might be Columbine in the making” — but they never called her back. Multiple students reported Cruz to school leaders. And the school security staff even had a meeting where they agreed that if anyone would become a school shooter, it would be Cruz.