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Florida Republican Gov Rick Scott appoints father of Parkland massacre victim to State Board of Ed


Appointee Andrew Pollack is vocal school safety advocate

The father of a student who was shot and killed during the Parkland massacre was appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, to the state Board of Education on Friday, WSVN-TV reported.

What is his background?

Andrew Pollack, 52, has appeared with Scott — who successfully ran for the U.S. Senate in November — at official government events and political gatherings, the Sun Sentinel reported. Pollack was also featured in a television ad for Scott's campaign and was in attendance when Scott announced his Senate candidacy in April.

"We developed a relationship over the last 10 months and he knows what I'm capable of doing," Pollack told the newspaper.

He has also met with President Donald Trump and powerful Republican politicians. Last year, Pollack celebrated Hanukkah with Trump at the White House.

Pollack became an outspoken advocate for school safety after his daughter, Meadow, 18, was shot nine times during the mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. She was found lying on top of the body of Cara Loughran, a 14-year-old freshman, as if she was trying to protect her. The gunman later admitted to killing 17 and wounding 17 more.

"What I hope to accomplish is accountability at a local level, to hold school boards accountable and superintendents accountable," Pollack said.

The word "accountability" has haunted him, Pollack told the Sun Sentinel.

"That word has haunted me since my daughter was murdered," Pollack, of Coral Springs, told the Sun Sentinel on Friday.

What are his other concerns?

In addition to school safety, Pollack, a property manager for Pollack Trust Rental Properties, said he plans to advocate for better teacher pay. He also wants to take a close look at school spending, he told media.

His term began on Friday and concludes Dec. 31, 2022. The Florida Senate must also approve the appointment. Pollack was one of several dozen new appointees announced by the governor's office on Friday.

Last month, Pollack appeared in a photo for the cover of Time Magazine with seven parents of students who were killed in school massacres.

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