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DeSantis Rejects Parkland Father's Appointment To Board of Education

Carolyn Kaster
AP via The Miami Herald
Andrew Pollack, father of slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Meadow Jade Pollack, joined by his sons, speaks during a listening session with President Donald Trump in February 2018.

This week's Florida Board of Education meeting might be the first and last for Andrew Pollack, the father of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim.

On Friday, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis rejected his predecessor's decision to appoint Pollack to the board that oversees schools and community colleges statewide. He also rescinded dozens of other selections announced by then-Gov. Rick Scott during his final days in office.

It's not a surprise. DeSantis has said he would likely rescind some or all of Scott's "lame duck" appointments before they got to the state Senate for confirmation. In announcing his decision to retract46 of Scott's appointments to state and local boards, DeSantis said the rejected picks were all welcome to reapply.

“I agree many of these individuals are outstanding citizens who are experts in their respected fields," DeSantis said in a statement. “They will be afforded every consideration as my office re-opens the application process to fill these critical appointment vacancies.”

Reached on Friday afternoon, Pollack reiterated that he believes DeSantis will appoint him to the board himself. He attended his first meeting on this board earlier this week in Pensacola.

"I'm not worried at all about Governor DeSantis' decision and what procedure he is going to take," Pollack said. "I'm just moving forward like I still have it."

He added he's "pretty sure" he'll remain on the board.

"I'm not even thinking about it. I'm thinking more about what I'm going to go eat for dinner," he said. "That's how much I'm thinking about that."

Pollack told WLRN earlier this week DeSantis told him he would get to stay on the board. DeSantis' spokesman did not respond to our request for confirmation.

"I had my first board meeting this week. All the board members welcomed me," Pollack said, "and I look forward to bringing a lot to that board. Because what good is education if you don't pick your kids up at the end of the day?"

Pollack said he would continue to push for school districts to implement the recommendations of both President Donald Trump's school safety panel, as well as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission empaneled by the Florida Legislature.

Jessica Bakeman is Director of Enterprise Journalism at WLRN News, and she is the former senior news editor and education reporter. Her 2021 project "Class of COVID-19" won a national Edward R. Murrow Award.
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