PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF DR. STEVE GALLON III
July 23, 2019
At the School Board Meeting of July 24, 2019, District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will proffer School Board Agenda Item H-11, Review of Student Arrest Data. The item was supported and co-sponsored by School Board Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman, Vice Chair Dr. Martin Karp, Ms. Susie Castillo, Dr. Lawrence Feldman, Ms. Mari Tere Rojas and Dr. Marta Perez at the School Board Committee Meeting held yesterday.
The Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) remains committed to the learning and life-long development and welfare of its students. In doing so, it is also committed to and has adopted policies, programs, and practices to ensure their security, safety, and well-being during school and at school-related events.
The issue of school safety and security has been elevated since the tragic event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High School on February 14, 2018 leading to numerous state legislative and local policy reforms and provisions, including resources and requirements for school police and/or armed staff on school campuses throughout the state. Although the presence of increased police officers on school campuses appears to be a noble strategy, the unintended consequence of engaging police officers in school-related matters often results in referring students for school discipline related issues to law enforcement.
As M-DCPS remains committed to both an ethos and practice of fairness, equality, and equity in the education of its students and administration and operation of its schools and departments, a review of data, policies, and practices relating to student arrests is prudent.
“This issue of student arrests is one that perplexes school districts across the nation. The unfortunate criminalization of school related disciplinary issues needs to end.
It is incumbent that we not only talk about data, but lean strongly into real, frank and open discussions about race and racism and the implicit biases that lead to these disparities among black student arrests as compared to their white counterparts and other groups within our system, in our collective efforts to find meaningful, sustainable and genuine solutions,” said District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III.
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