Inez Feltscher Stepman, a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum, recently sat down with Max Eden on the She Thinks podcast to talk about the book that he co-authored with the father of Meadow Pollock, who died in the Parkland shooting. According to the New York Post, Andrew Pollock “conducted his own investigation to uncover the roots of what he calls the most avoidable mass murder in American history.”
One of the striking issues raised in the book—and that Eden mentions in his conversation on the podcast—is how policymakers talk about students with disabilities in a way that often fails to distinguish between something as mild as a hearing impairment and something as potentially dangerous as severe emotional and behavioral disturbance. He highlights the risk of policies that defer to the far away bureaucrats and ignore the teachers and administrators on the ground who interact with the students daily. As the book “Why Meadow Died” shows, school staff repeatedly expressed—and documented—concerns about the Parkland shooter. Unfortunately, the policies in place around reducing arrests and curtailing discipline worked exactly as they were designed to—it’s just that none of the people at the top who were driving the policies ever imagined a student like Nikolas Cruz.