Fathers of Victims Want Award for Paper that Exposed the Truth Behind Parkland Shooting

Andrew Pollack with his daughter Meadow who was killed in the Parkland shooting. (Photo: Facebook)

On Valentine’s Day 2018, a teen gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at his former high school in Parkland, Florida.  It was one of the deadliest shootings at a high school in the history of the United States.  Seventeen people were killed including the children of two Florida parents Andrew Pollack and Ryan Petty.

Pollack and Petty were outraged by the way the national media handled the story.  Rather than focusing on how the system failed to prevent the tragedy, the news stories focused on how the NRA and pro-gun activists were to blame for the shooting.

The media in large part focused on a group of survivors and students who formed a political action committee for gun control called “Never Again MSD.”  The focus of the group was to demand legislative action to stop gun violence.   As a result of the group’s efforts, Florida increased funding for school security and raised the required age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21.

Amidst the sea of media anti-gun hysteria, one publication focused on getting to the truth, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and now Pollack and Petty want the Sun-Sentinel to receive one of journalism’s most prestigious awards, the Pulitzer Prize.

“This was the most avoidable mass murder in American history,” wrote Pollack and Perry in a letter to the Pulitzer Committee, “enabled by a sheriff’s office and a school district characterized by administrative incompetence so staggering and moral corruption so deep that it took the Sun Sentinel the better part of the year [to] uncover it all”

The Sun-Sentinel ran a series of stories exposing how the Broward schools, in which the Parkland shooting occurred, failed to address problems that contributed to the attack.

SEE ALSO: State’s Attorney Will Refuse to Prosecute Ban on ‘Assault Weapons’

In one article, the paper exposed how a culture of tolerance regarding student misbehavior allowed students like the Parkland shooter to have “an endless loop of violations and second chances.”

In another story, the publication exposed how the Broward school district failed to properly report crimes that occurred to the state.  The failure prevented authorities from identifying “trouble spots” so that parents could be properly informed.

In the most powerful piece, the Sun-Sentinel exposed an active cover-up perpetrated by the school district to avoid legal liability for the shooting.  The news story detailed how the Broward schools delayed or withheld records and intentionally spread misinformation.

“If Americans knew the full story behind the Parkland school shooting, our nation would have united in revulsion against the incompetent, self-aggrandizing leaders who allowed this to happen and tried to cover it up.  And we could have united in purpose behind reforms intended to keep students safe, rather than simply move on, a little angrier at each other than before, and wait for the next one to happen,” Pollack and Petty said.

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About the author: John Thomas is a U.S. Navy veteran, and a former prosecutor and defense attorney with over 20 years of experience in state and federal courts. He has handled everything from traffic tickets to first-degree murder cases and is a long-time supporter of Second Amendment rights and the rights of individuals to defend themselves, their families and their property.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Mark February 9, 2019, 5:43 pm

    Daddio7 I disagree with the generalization about young men under 21cannot be trusted with a with a semi automatic firearm. My son’s are 5 years apart. the oldest is an engineer in Texas and the youngest is in Pharmacy school. Both of them were disciplined enough to focus on their aspirations. The youngest is 20. Both like to shoot and both know how to handle a firearm safely. The youngest is liberal and the oldest is conservative (go figure) but we all like a little friendly shooting competition when we get together.

  • david dunnam February 9, 2019, 3:21 am

    You know nothing. In the military, as an 18 year old Security policeman, I patrolled isolated posts alone. I was not armed with a semi automatic, but a select fire m16.

  • Jackkade February 8, 2019, 11:17 pm

    My Thoughts/questions on Hogg. Why was he not at school that day?? How did he just happen to come peddling up just as the carnage ended?? Could he have known in advance?? Did anyone look at his phone records to see if he and the shooter had communicated?? Just a bunch of unanswered questions that are troublesome to me..

  • FirstStateMark February 8, 2019, 9:27 pm

    Hogg wasn’t even in school that day. He’s nothing but a little prick. And that Jackass rent a cop that was on duty still has his job I hear. As he stood by and waited while kids were being shot. That whole incident was a damn shame.

  • Lenny F. February 8, 2019, 8:41 pm

    This is local news for me, and I have communicated with this man. I also fought with my local paper as The Miami Herald is a leftist rag. So, I subscribe to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as well. It is still biased, but it gets a lot closer to the truth.
    Andrew Pollack is made to feel like a loner. His comments have not been bombastic as some of his fellow parents have been. Most of the parents have been reached by the anti-NRA faction, but Mr. Pollack has not joined that group. While the others scream for blood, Mr. Pollack wants accountability.
    Believe it or not, there is even more to this story than what is printed in the papers, and it is about to come out.
    It seems a bit odd, but there was another person who did not get much mention, but he will. One man saw the shooter arrive at school carrying a rifle bag. He claimed he recognized the shooter as “that crazy kid.” But he did nothing. It turns out that some of the teenage girls were being sexually harassed by this school employee. They went and complained. His termination was recommended, but then it was changed to a suspension. He was the one person who could have stopped this tragedy. He is back at work as if nothing important happened. Mr. Pollack has a lawsuit against this man and told him he had not heard the last of him. So, he went and reported this as a physical threat to the police. No, Mr. Pollack does not represent any physical threat, but he has been hammered in the press because he is requesting common sense to prevail, and not placing blame where it does not belong.
    Meanwhile, the head of the School Board, Robert Runcie was just following the ideas of B.H. Obama who thought that if he could keep kids from being arrested as juveniles, they would straighten up as adults. So, the School Board registered no fights, thefts, or incidents of bullying. All of that was crap, as this happens in every school at one level or another. Mr. Runcie made no changes. Sheriff Scott Israel was not a real cop. He was an administrator and an elected official. So, the School Board had to make its own rules, and they failed. The new Florida governor fired Israel and made mention that he would like to fire Runcie as well. The problem is that Runcie is black, and the NAACP has warned Gov. DeSantis not to mess with him. (They said nothing about the man’s judgment and they did not speak up for Scott Israel, so I guess we must assume that the NAACP is just a racist group).
    This is Florida politics. It didn’t use to be this way. Some people took their freedom, and empowered and justified themselves. They like mob rule.

    • Pat J February 9, 2019, 2:55 pm

      Thanks for all this background, Lenny. If you ever see Mr Pollack again, would you tell him there are a lot of old grandpas in Oregon who feel for him and regret his loss. And thanks, administrator, for that picture.

  • Stan d. Upnow February 8, 2019, 4:31 pm

    TG for Gov. DeSantis having the fortitude to suspend Sheriff Israel. Israel is an arch-Progressive, who is totally in favor of confiscating legally owned firearms from citizens. This egotistical totalitarian is partly responsible for what happened in Parkland. He also is directly responsible for hiring Nezar Hamze, an official at CAIR, a muslim terrorist front group. Despite repeated calls to get rid of Hamze, Israel refused to do so.Broward county is a mess. Broward is a majority Democrat county. Gee, big surprise.

  • David in MA February 8, 2019, 2:08 pm

    I understand this guy hog was not even at school this day,
    so, how can he be considered a “survivor”
    And, who wants to hear his drivel? Not me.

  • David in MA February 8, 2019, 2:04 pm

    Want to stop, or greatly reduce, “gun violence”?
    Pass a bill that whomever commits an act with a firearm of violence
    toward another person shall receive the death penalty, no appeals and
    execution shall be carried out immediately.
    (Fewer violators = Fewer violations = Fewer “Gun crimes”.)

  • Txsdude February 8, 2019, 12:04 pm

    Isn’t this the same county that back in the late 80’s made 2 live crew famous for banning them or something. Seems like they just keep the same idiots in charge.

  • luckieboy February 8, 2019, 11:52 am

    and what does david hogg have to say about this….you know he has something to add. come on david open your ignorant mouth

  • Pat J February 8, 2019, 11:38 am

    That poor man. Can you imagine losing the daughter in that photo? When Mark Twain got news of his daughter’s death while he was in London, he said he didn’t understand why people didn’t just die when they lost loved ones. There are NY, DC, and Hollywood powerful who want the “morons” disarmed and discounted.
    One of their “common sense” measures is going to sneak through. Nobody has ever answered my question,
    “What does this psycho-fuck kid’s murders have to do with my firearms?” People used to be proud of rational thought.

  • DocLoch February 8, 2019, 9:28 am

    So they know the incompetence of the government in their area, but they cry out for more government control of their lives. That, right there, is the epitome of idiocy! Anyone who believes that government is the answer to ANY problem has not been alive very long!

  • Lee February 8, 2019, 9:00 am

    So no one under 21 from FL is allowed to join the armed forces, right? Otherwise that would be hypocritical, right? I mean seriously?!?! That’s just as foolish as a traffic cop handing a car driver a ticket for no seat belt as a motorcyclist drives by you while you hold that ticket! SMH

    • Daddio7 February 8, 2019, 7:48 pm

      Members of the armed forces use firearms under the supervision of qualified individuals. Children today mature mentally at a much later age then in decades past. I have two sons born 17 years apart, the older one in eight years got his degree and spent four years as an Air Force officer, the younger one took eight years to get his degree and a year later still doesn’t have a full time job.

      In today’s society we can not trust young men under 21 with semi automatic weapons.

      • fred chiu February 8, 2019, 6:21 pm

        Seems to me your favoring your oldest son and your comments about can’t trust anyone under 21 with a semi auto……..what trash. WTF do you mean about service people being supervised with weapons. If your using weapons you are taught fire arms safety, get qualified if you can. The rest is …..you are treated like a man or woman.

      • AJ February 9, 2019, 11:59 am

        It’s only the fault of the parents. My kids will be taught how I was taught. They know where my guns are, but they also know that there will be hell to pay if they are messed with. Now, if the situation arises, they will know how to use them, safely and properly.

        That all being said, outside of emergency situations young people should ALWAYS be supervised with firearms. Whatever the legal age to own one is, people need to start being accountable for their kids. If they live with you, they are still your responsibility.

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