Below is the full excerpt from & # 39; Why Meadow Died & # 39; that can be pre-ordered here.
When Westglades Middle School staff learned that Nikolas Cruz had committed the massacre on Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, some could not believe it. The fact that he was a mass murderer was not what surprised them, but rather the fact that he had attended that school.
& # 39; How is that possible? & # 39; a Westglades educator remembered the thinking. & # 39; We have done our job. It took forever, but we brought him (to the specialized school) where he had to go. We could not believe that they had ever let him in (Stoneman). & # 39;
Westglades students and staff had never seen anyone like Nikolas Cruz. A student, Paige, remembered the time she met Cruz. They were waiting outside their classroom until their teacher opened the door and Cruz offered her a hug that Paige accepted. Their teacher later pulled Paige aside and warned her: & # 39; Don't touch him. He just got caught while jerking off. & # 39;
If something frustrated Cruz, he would curse and threaten everyone in the neighborhood. He would hide behind corners and doors, jump out and yell at people and then cackle over their fear. Sometimes he burst out in maniacal laughter for no apparent reason.
"Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies that the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America's Students" by Andrew Pollack and Max Eden, will be released on Tuesday, September 10
Another student, Sarah, remembered a time when he threw his chair through a classroom. Later she saw him sitting outside the classroom with his desk tied.
Cruz & # 39; s torture and killing of animals became a source of pride for him when he interacted with other students. One student, Devin, remembered that although he tried to avoid Cruz, Cruz would approach him almost every day and ask: & Do you want to see videos of me who are animals skinning? & # 39; Devin always refused, but Cruz kept asking.
Cruz & # 39; s data suggest that his reign of terror at Westglades Middle School began halfway through his seventh grade, in February 2013. For the following calendar year, Cruz was suspended every other day. Why did the school allow him to remain enrolled despite his daily, disturbed behavior for an entire year? Not through negligence, but through policy.
Students with disabilities are supposed to follow a course in the & # 39; least restrictive environment & # 39; that is possible regardless of whether their disability is that they are dyslexic or a psychopath, and the paperwork requirements to send them to a specialized school can take many months.
Cruz & # 39; s eighth grade language arts, Carrie Yon, kept diligent notes about his behavior for Cruz & # 39; s & # 39; Functional Behavior Analysis & # 39 ;:
Sept 3: When viewing (a) homophones worksheet, when another student mentioned the amendment that speaks about & # 39; the right to bear arms & # 39 ;, Nick (sic) lit up hearing the word that related to guns and yelled & # 39; you mean guns! & # 39; he was overly excited and thought we were going to talk about weapons. Nick later used his pencil as a gun. . . shoot in class.
September 4: Nick drew naked stick figures (with body parts, sexual) and drew photos of people shooting each other with guns.
September 11: After discussions and lectures about the Civil War in America, Nick was fixated on the death and murder of Abraham Lincoln. He asked inappropriate questions and took shooting actions with his pencil. Some questions he asked were: & # 39; What did it sound like when Lincoln was shot? Did the pop doll or pop pop doll go really fast? Was there blood everywhere? What did they do with all bodies after the war? Did people eat them? & # 39;
Sept. 16: When we started reading the Odyssey, Nick paid partial attention (in and out) until we got to the horrible scene when the giant ate the crew of Odysseus, only then Nick was interested in the lesson and got my 100 % attention.
Sept. 27: Another student also told me (after Nick was out of class) that Nick asks him all the time: & # 39; How can I still go to this school? & # 39;
October 1: When talking about figurative language and onomatopoeia, Nick shouted like a shooting. & # 39; Nick will find every excuse to bring up guns or violence. . . He became frustrated and said, "I hate security, I hope they die." Then he said to me: & # 39; F-k you. & # 39; I called security to pick him up immediately.
October 15: spoke to his mother. . . We have discussed that he should not play violent video games and that he should be placed in another school that can help with his behavior and emotional problems. We also talked about his obsession with weapons / violence. She stated that he was interested in buying a BB gun from Walmart and repeatedly asked his mother if he could get the gun and promised that he would just shoot trees & # 39 ;.
October 17: Nick started reading the last pages to the students and deliberately tried to ruin the book for everyone. I asked him to stop and he told me he did not like the book and then he said: & # 39; I like weapons & # 39; can we talk about that? He then continued to read the book aloud again.
On October 24, assistant director Antonio Lindsay came to class to observe Cruz. As soon as Lindsay left the room, Cruz screamed: & # 39; Yes, now I can talk! & # 39; He remained disruptive and Yon said: & I know you can behave. I have seen you. You are a good child. & # 39; Cruz shouted: & # 39; I'm a bad boy! I want to kill! & # 39;
Mrs. Yon gave her opinion for the & # 39; Functional Behavior Analysis & # 39 ;:
& # 39; I am convinced that Nikolas is a danger to the students and the faculty at this school. I don't feel like he understands the difference between his violent video games and reality. He constantly exhibits aggressive behavior and poor judgment. His drawing in the classroom shows violent acts (people who shoot at each other) or creepy sexual photos (dogs with large penises). . . I would like him to be sent to a facility that is more prepared and has the right attitude to handle these types of children. & # 39;
On September 13, 2013, Lindsay sent teachers an email informing them that if Cruz had to leave the classroom to use the toilet, go to the clinic, or for some other reason, the front office should be notified and wait for an escort. Nickolas (sic) may not under any circumstances leave a supervised institution without an escort. & # 39;
In October, Lindsay sent a follow-up email to inform teachers that & # 39; Cruz will be & # 39; in the shade & by his mother when he chooses to run / walk out of the classroom in & # 39; are attempts to prevent problems. & # 39; Teachers were advised to secretly call safety by sending a student to another office for an excuse.
On November 4, after two months of collecting & # 39; data & # 39; for Cruz & # 39; Functional Behavior Evaluation, teachers received his & # 39; Positive Behavior Intervention Plan & # 39; sent. The plan contained useful tips such as:
If Nikolas destroys real estate at a lower level,
- Let him know that he has not met one of the expectations.
- Remember what he works for.
- Ask him to use a cooling card and walk away to spread the situation.
If Nikolas deals with major disruption / destruction of property,
- Let Nikolas know, & you are getting too loud. I want you to regain control by using a cooling pass or by calming down at your desk. When you regain control, you can stay in class. If you continue, I have to let you go (sic). & # 39;
- Walk away and don't mind his behavior.
- Don't argue with Nikolas or talk to him.
- When the lesson is over, Nikolas must go to his next class and the behavior plan must be reset with the ability to earn reward breaks again.
Teachers had to implement this plan for at least six weeks until Cruz could qualify for further evaluation. At the end of November, Cruz tried to commit suicide at school by running into oncoming traffic. But that didn't speed up the process.
School administrators classified the incident as & # 39; minor disruption & # 39; and Cruz remained registered with Westglades for three months. As Mrs. Yon's records show, even Cruz couldn't understand why they held him there for so long.
Cruz wrote in February 2014 in Cross Creek, a specialized school with 150 students in grades K-12, his behavior almost the same in the first semester. Dr. Nyrma Ortiz, a psychiatrist who is consulting with Cross Creek, commented: & he is going to YouTube to investigate wars, military equipment, and terrorist topics. Carries military related items before he goes to school. Parent stated that all these ideas are related to his excessive gaming. & # 39; When asked to describe a perfect summer, Cruz wrote: & # 39; Buy some kind of gun and shoot at targets that I set up with large amounts of ammunition just for fun. & # 39;
Shortly before the summer vacation, therapist Rona Kelly from Ortiz and Cruz took the extremely unusual step of writing to his private psychiatrist:
Dear Dr. Negin,
We are (sic) crazy with his mother's permission, to inform you about some behavioral problems that he continues to show at home and at school. Nikolas continues to present with extreme mood liability. It is usually very irritable and reactive. At school he exhibits oppositional and challenging behavior and has become verbally aggressive in the classroom. He seems to be paranoid and blames others for his behavioral problems. He deals with guns and the army and continues this improperly. At home he remains aggressive and destructive with minimal provocation. For example, he destroyed his television after losing a video game he was playing. Nikolas has an ax that he uses to chop a dead tree in his back yard. Mama has recently been unable to find that ax (sic). When he is upset, he makes holes in the walls and has used sharp tools to cut furniture upholstery and cut holes in the bathroom. According to recent information at school, he dreams of killing others and getting blood or blood. He has been assessed for the need for hospitalization at school and by the YES team at Henderson Behavioral Health. . . We would like you to be aware of current concerns, as you will see him for medication management in the summer and may need to reassess his response (sic) to current medications. In our opinion, his response to medication is limited at best.
The following fall, Kelly called Cruz's mother and & # 39; shared concerns with the parent about obsession with weapons / soldiers and his poor anger control. He continues to apply aggressive behavior at home. Parent was advised not to give him a gun (pellet) or (shooting) lessons for his birthday. Parent advised to limit access to weapons. & # 39;
When the teachers of Cruz were asked what he was interested in or enjoyed, almost all guns mentioned the army or war.
But from October, Cruz seems to have calmed down for a few months, and that was enough to earn him a ticket for Marjory Stoneman Douglas. In April he told Dr. Ortiz that he wanted to register for the Junior Core Core Training program for high school.
Ortiz included, & # 39; interested in (J) ROTC? – not advised. . . Talk about the safety of others / themselves. & # 39;
But the following month, each member of Cruz & # 39; s & # 39; Child Study Team & # 39; to mainstream two classes a day at the start of the 2015-16 school year: one class and JROTC.
Nikolas Cruz could not possibly have made himself clearer. The Broward School staff knew exactly who and what he was. Yet they not only let him register in Marjory Stoneman Douglas, they literally gave him an AR-15 air gun and let him practice shooting.
This may sound surprising. But it was all according to policy. The official assessment of Nikolas Cruz & # 39; s educational history did not register any objections to anything you have just read.
Fragment obtained via The New York Post
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