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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Andrew Pollack is both unqualified for the state board of education and a conspiracy theorist

Andrew Pollack is both unqualified for the state board of education and a conspiracy theorist.

First, let me say that what happened to him and his family is a nightmare and he has my upmost sympathy. However, just because his daughter was killed does not make Pollack qualified to serve on the state board of education, which Rick Scott, in some sort of twisted publicity stunt, did on his way out the door.

Not only are some of his ideas to arm teachers dangerous and myopic, they turn schools into little more than jails. Andrew Pollack has also indulged in far right conspiracy theories.

From the Washington Post:

A father of a Parkland school shooting victim appeared on “Fox & Friends” over the weekend and suggested, without evidence, that Democrats registered the accused shooter to vote from jail as part of an effort to steal Florida’s election.

“It just shows you how despicable these Democrats are that they’ll stoop that low to go into the prison, the jail, and register these criminals,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of 17 people Nikolas Cruz allegedly shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February. “It’s never been done in 20 years.”

Citing a “tip from deputies at the jail,” Pollack said the plan failed because Broward County — which is now involved in a recount battle that could swing Florida’s Senate and gubernatorial elections — failed to send the inmates their ballots in time to vote.

“They probably shouldn’t be voting anyway,” Fox’s Katie Pavlich remarked after listening to Pollack’s accusations, which neither she nor her two co-hosts challenged at any point, although they contradicted all public evidence.

Indeed, at the heart of the segment and the spiraling social media outrage that accompanied it, there was a kernel of truth, but little more than that: Nikolas Jacob Cruz really did register to vote in July, listing his home address as the county jail where he awaits trial after police say he confessed to the mass shooting.

Like it or not, until Cruz is convicted, our laws say that Cruz has the right to vote.

Is that how Andrew Polllack would approach his duties on the state board, which includes setting policy on many things other than school safety? By listening to tips? By not doing any research? By ignoring the law and just going with his gut?

This is an insulting and embarrassing selection. We can grieve with Pollack and his family and still demand that Rick Scott does better. The board has a startling lack of educators on it. It's time we put an educator on the state board to demonstrate our priority to ensure the best education for Florida's children.

I urge you to contact your representatives and to tell them to vote no

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