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Pinellas County School Board to discuss new law enforcement agreement, NAACP has concerns

Pinellas County schools
Posted at 7:29 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 07:54:51-05

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The Pinellas County School Board is set to discuss a new agreement with law enforcement officers at a workshop on Tuesday.

The agreement is between the school board, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, and law enforcement from surrounding municipalities.

PCS LEA Agreement by ABC Action News on Scribd

The district says the new proposal is supposed to establish new guidelines for how they handle misconduct of students and adults.

School leaders say the purpose of the new agreement is to combine the existing ones and add new elements required by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act laws.

The district says they’re working to encourage alternatives to criminal referrals and arrests of students and discourage officers from interviewing students on campus.

The new agreement includes:

  • Making sure Threat Assessment Teams have a required law enforcement officer for each school
  • Threat assessment teams and corresponding officers will have access to personal student information if deemed necessary
  • The Sheriff will provide criminal background information regarding students
  • Law enforcement officers must follow a detailed protocol before arresting a student

The Pinellas County branches of the NAACP say they have some concerns with the new proposal.

In a letter sent to the school board, the group says the changes would disproportionately affect students of color.

School Board Letter 10 Feb 2021 (1) by ABC Action News on Scribd

The NAACP is asking the district to give the community more time to provide feedback, and take the draft agreement off the consent agenda for at least 45 to 60 days.

They expect the school board to respond to that request Tuesday.

The workshop begins at 9:30 a.m.