Teaching for the Culture joined forces with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) in a letter to the Pinellas County School Board, requesting revisions to a proposed agreement between the school district and 13 local law enforcement agencies. LDF previously requested the school board to adopt these revisions on behalf of Black students attending Pinellas County schools to preserve students’ privacy and due process rights and to ensure that law enforcement officers do not replace educators in addressing childhood misbehavior.
“Turning police into school disciplinarians increases student anxiety, creates alienation and distrust, diminishes students’ faith in the legitimacy of the authority of school staff, and can trigger, rather than prevent, misbehavior,” stated the organizations in their letter to the school board. “Furthermore, harsh disciplinary practices, such as school-based arrests, increase the risk that students will fail a grade, drop out of school, and become entangled in the criminal justice system.”
Research shows that Black students do not misbehave more than white students. Yet, there were more than twice as many arrests of Black students than white students during the 2019-20 school year even though there are nearly three times as many white students in the Pinellas County School District. As of 2019, the district was the eighth-largest school district in Florida and the 27th-largest school district in the country.
Teaching for the Culture is hosting a virtual town hall with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sunshine Education Coalition, NAACP St. Petersburg Branch #5130, and Allendale United Methodist Church to enable community members to ask questions and discuss the issue on Saturday, March 20, at 4 p.m.
View the requested revision documents
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