CTH has intentionally stayed away from discussion of the Parkland school shooting as we watched and reviewed the response. However, it’s time to call the Broward School Board officials to task and simultaneously prepare the class-action lawyers to cripple the system.
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.
2013 […] Broward, the nation’s seventh largest district, had the highest number of school-related arrests in Florida in the 2011-2012 school year, according to state data. Seventy-one percent of the 1,062 arrests made were for misdemeanor offenses. (more)
Unfortunately, the school board mandated policies came into conflict with law and order. The problem of the conflicted policy -vs- legality worsened over time as the police excused much more than misdemeanor crimes. Over time this culminated in police officers falsifying documents, hiding criminal activity, lying on official police reports and even hiding stolen merchandise police retrieved from high school students.
In 2012 Trayvon Martin was one of those students. –SEE HERE–
It was our initial FOIA requests to the Miami Dade School Police Department which revealed the secret discipline and diversionary program Trayvon Martin was granted to avoid a criminal record. The School Board and M-DSPD kept trying to hide the issue; they delayed responses and charged us thousands for FOIA information; but we knew this story was huge… so we kept going.
Specifically Trayvon Martin’s criminal conduct was hidden behind school discipline. Stolen jewelry was recorded as random ‘found items’ (the jewelry just intentionally placed in storage with no investigation), Trayvon’s possession of marijuana was similarly obfuscated, and all of the incident reports were intentionally falsified by officials and School Resource Officer, Daryl Dunn, to avoid the Criminal Justice system.
It is all well documented. None of this is supposition. Our research discovered sworn affidavits from the police department HERE. No-one was ever been held to account – it was just too politically dangerous an 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 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.
A separate report of “criminal Mischief” (T-08809) was filed for the additional issue of writing “WTF” on a school locker. [It was the search for the marker used to write the graffiti that led to the backpack search].
The school discipline, “suspension”, was attached to the graffiti and not the stolen jewelry.
The connections between the Police Burglary report and the School Report of “found items” were never made because the regular police detective in charge of the Burglary case had no idea the School Police Dept. had filed a “found items” report.
Two differing police departments, and the School Officer, Dunn, intentionally took the criminal element out of the equation – instead preferring “school discipline” and not “criminal adjudication”. (more)
And it wasn’t just Trayvon Martin, there were hundreds of similar actions taken by conflicted School Resource Officers – totaling thousands of crimes over the course of just the first few years of these programs (2010 through 2013).
CTH contacted the Miami-Dade School District, every single school board member, and the Broward County School District – to warn them of what was taking place.
We provided thousands of pages of sworn affidavits and transcribed testimony from law enforcement. We spent several thousand dollars locating, transcribing and assembling the documents and evidence; and hundreds more hours compiling all the information. –SEE HERE– We sent all of it to both school districts and both school superintendents.
Their response: “go away”.
The school board’s in Miami-Dade and Broward County had created a disastrous scheme and it didn’t take long to see where this was going. The scheme was supported by President Obama’s federal education policy, and executive orders –SEE HERE– and people like Jesse Jackson –SEE HERE– In August of 2012 President Obama issuing an “executive order” establishing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence. Effectively placing “quotas” on school discipline based on race:
Broward County, even went one step further. They stopped arresting students and then changed the policy of suspension. Broward enhanced their program in 2013:
Broward’s Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline was announced in early November. Instead of suspensions, students can now be referred to the PROMISE program, where they receive counseling for several days and then return to school. A host of non-violent misdemeanors no longer require an arrest, though officers can sometimes override that if they feel it is necessary (“I wanted to make sure deputies always had discretion,” says Scott Israel, Broward County’s sheriff). The school district’s Office of Minority Male Achievement reviews data to ensure that punishments for minor infractions and racial disparities are on the decline. (read more)
So what happens when you stop arresting students for clear criminal conduct and then lessen the school punishment therein?…. You get this:
The Department Of Justice – Civil Rights and School Discipline October 21st 2010
2010 – In recent years, many school districts across the country have begun to adopt strict zero-tolerance discipline policies that impose increasingly harsher punishments for seemingly minor infractions. These disciplinary measures – in-school or out-of-school suspensions, alternative school placements, expulsions, and referrals to police departments and juvenile authorities – disrupt a student’s education and diminish their chances for success.
For too many students, these school-imposed sanctions lead to the criminal justice system, a pathway commonly referred to as the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Regrettably, studies have shown that children of color are disproportionately affected by zero-tolerance policies, a trend that increases already significant disparities. (read more)
2010 – ERIC HOLDER – Never before have our two agencies come together in this way – or brought together such a large and diverse group of partners – to discuss the best ways to ensure that civil rights and educational opportunities are protected for every student, at every level, and in every community…But it is just the beginning of what I know – and I pledge – will be an ongoing conversation about how we can better understand the causes, and most effectively remedy the consequences, of disparities in student discipline. I want to assure all of you that for me, for Secretary Duncan, for the agencies we lead, and for the administration – this work is a top priority.