New story up at Highline

Max Eden didn’t even want to read about Parkland. He saw the news on Valentine’s Day, after a dinner date with his girlfriend at a little French place in Washington, D.C., taking an Uber home. There was the gut-punch—“oh shit, another school shooting”—then the queasy afterthought that none of this hits as hard as it used to. He knew what would follow. For a few angry weeks, Democrats would demand gun control and Republicans would call for arming teachers. He decided he’d sit it out this time, ignore the news as much as possible. And for a few days he did, until a journalist tweeted that the shooter’s school record proved a point that Eden had been making for much of his career.

…The shooting had occurred at the most elite public school in one of the most affluent suburbs in Broward County, and Eden typically focused on low-income, urban, majority-minority schools. But then he noticed what kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were saying about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old former MSD student charged with killing 17 students and staff and injuring 17 more. In TV interviews and on social media, the students insisted they’d repeatedly warned local authorities that Cruz was obsessed with guns. A couple of days after the massacre, the FBI acknowledged it had failed to act on two tips. It would emerge that Cruz had repeated interactions with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office as well. Eden wondered, he told me, whether the shooting was connected to Broward’s reputation as “ground zero” for a policy he characterized as “try to arrest as few students as possible.”

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