The Associated Press in a November 2013 article titled In Florida, agreement to reduce student arrests Christine Armario reported:
MIAMI (AP) — One of the nation’s largest school districts, law enforcement and the NAACP have reached a deal aimed at arresting fewer students for minor offenses and cutting down the so-called school-to-prison pipeline, which the civil rights group and others say disproportionately affects minority students.
The agreement with Broward County Public Schools in Florida announced Tuesday is one of the first comprehensive plans bringing together district officials, police and the state attorney’s office to create an alternative to the zero-tolerance policies prevalent in many schools. It charges principals rather than school resource officers with being the primary decision makers in responding to student misbehavior.
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“It’s pretty rare,” Michael Krezmien, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said of the agreement. “I think if every other school district did it that would be a great step forward.”
The new policy creates a matrix for district officials and school resource officers to follow when a student misbehaves. For non-violent misdemeanors like trespassing, harassment, incidents related to alcohol, possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, administrators are instructed to try and resolve the situation without an arrest. A variety of alternatives, like participation in a week-long counseling program, are designed to address and correct the student’s behavior.
No student would be arrested for a first non-violent misdemeanor, but further offenses will result in graduated levels of school-based interventions. After a fifth incident, students are referred to law enforcement.
Felonies or serious threats will still be handled by police. [Emphasis added]
After Florida’s Broward County School Board implemented this policy the Miami-Dade School Board did the same. This new “matrix” is dubbed “diversionary programs.”
Diversionary Programs Kill
Four days after the Parkland massacre a column was published by the Conservative Tree House titled School Shooting Was Outcome of Broward County School Board Policy – Now Local and National Politicians Weaponize Kids for Ideological Intents. The author reported:
Broward County schools intentionally created polices from 2010 through 2016 that culminated in the 2018 mass school shooting in Parkland. We know this with great specificity because five years ago we warned Broward County Florida school board members this could happen.
In 2012 and 2013 while doing research into the Trayvon Martin shooting we discovered an alarming set of school policies being enacted in Miami-Dade and Broward County Florida. The policies were called “diversionary programs” and were essentially about stopping High School students from being arrested. Law enforcement was instructed to avoid arrests and defer criminal conduct to school administrators.
Students who engaged in violence, drug sales, robberies, burglaries, theft and other various crimes were intentionally kept out of the criminal justice system. County administrators and School Superintendents told local and county law enforcement officers to stop arresting students. [Emphasis added]
How the Miami-Dade School Board mandated policies came into conflict with law and order
Frances Robles from the Miami Herald reported:
Trayvon [Martin] was suspended several times in the months before his death, including one incident in which a school police officer said he caught the Michael Krop High student with a bag of what appeared to be stolen jewelry.
The Conservative Tree House reported:
It was that M-DSPD internal affairs investigation which revealed in October 2011 Trayvon Martin was searched by School Resource Officer, Darryl Dunn. The search of Trayvon Martin’s backpack turned up at least 12 pcs of ladies jewelry, and a man’s watch, in addition to a flat head screwdriver described as “a burglary tool”.
When Trayvon was questioned about who owned the jewelry and where it came from, he claimed he was just holding it for a “friend”. A “friend” he would not name.
Later, after the police report was outlined in the Robles article, and despite Trayvon being suspended for the second time in a new school year, Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, said Trayvon’s dad, Tracy Martin, and Trayvon’s mom, Sybrina Fulton, did not know anything about the jewelry case.
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However, there was ONE big issue. SRO Dunn never filed a criminal report, nor opened a criminal investigation, surrounding the stolen jewelry. Instead, and as a result of pressure from M-DSPD Chief [Charles] Hurley to avoid criminal reports for black male students, Dunn wrote up the jewelry as “found items”, and transferred them, along with the burglary tool, to the Miami-Dade Police property room where they sat on a shelf unassigned to anyone for investigation.
In April 2012 Jessie Jackson, after the Trayvon Martin shooting, called for “no more black suspensions.” It should be noted that the Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz is Hispanic, a minority. Jackson said at a rally that the Trayvon Martin case was about ending all types of racial profiling — not just in criminal cases, but by banks, insurance companies and in the job market. Jackson called for “end profiling now.” “We must stop suspending our children,” Jackson said, asking the crowd to repeat: “Invest in them. Educate them.” (read more)
After Jackson’s remarks this policy was implemented nation wide by former President Obama and led to an executive order to allow black male students to have independent disciplinary policies based on their race and gender.
What happens when law enforcement sees something and does nothing in order to “end profiling”based on race and gender?
Are the NAACP and the Broward County School District’s “diversionary program” responsible for the Parkland massacre? We report, you decide.
READ: The Broward County School Board’s Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline dated November 5th, 2013: