Tell Superintendent Browning: Erase the database.
Imagine being labeled a criminal because you’ve survived abuse or received a “D” in school.
According to a Tampa Bay Times investigation, several middle and high schools in Pasco County Florida are working in partnership with the Pasco Sheriff’s office to do just that. They’ve created a secret list of children they believe might “fall into a life of crime” based on highly sensitive, private information, including histories of abuse and academic records.
What’s worse, Black students and those with disabilities are 2x more likely to be targeted and placed on this list. And this list is just the beginning — giving police the green light to target and harass Black children and their families.
That’s why we’re calling on the Pasco County School Board and Pasco Superintendent Kurt Browning to intervene NOW. Add your name to demand Pasco schools get rid of this list of students, and end the practice of sharing sensitive student info with police.
On several occasions, Superintendent Browning has gone on record touting his positive relationship with the Pasco County Sheriff’s office and the need for police presence in schools. But when it comes to defending children against harassment and targeting by the police, Browning has remained silent, claiming that he is unaware of the Sheriff’s use of school data to identify kids who might become criminals.
Here are our demands:
1. Release demographic data for the student populations represented on this list with a comparison to the county-wide demographic data. Specifically, we demand to know the percentage of Black students, Latinx students, and disabled students represented on this list.
2. The Sheriff's office must notify all families whose child has already been added to the list.
3. Shift budget priorities to support teachers and staff. Trained professionals — not Pasco’s sheriff office — should provide academic and mental health interventions for students who need additional support. Right now, teachers and guidance counselors who are overworked, underpaid, and under-resourced are expected to do this critical and difficult work. Instead of labeling schoolchildren “criminals” and sharing their information with law enforcement, Pasco County schools should invest in students, educators, and staff.
Sign the petition. Tell the Pasco School Board and Superintendent Kurt Browning: Stop sharing our kids' data with the police. Erase the database, and notify targeted families.
Here is the Petition:
I was shocked and appalled to learn that Pasco County police have created a list that labels middle and high school students as “potential criminals” based on sensitive information, like whether or not they have received a “D” or have survived abuse.
As Superintendent of Pasco County schools, you have the power to intervene and ensure that no child is forced to undergo targeting and harassment by the Pasco County Sheriff’s office. No child should be labeled as a criminal, EVER. Pasco law enforcement uses harmful predictive policing tactics which only further the school to prison pipeline, don’t keep children safe, and don’t offer students the resources they need to thrive.
Children go to school to learn and grow — not to be criminalized. We are calling on you to get rid of this dangerous list, cut ties with the Pasco County Sheriff’s office, and ensure no child’s personal information is shared with law enforcement. The time to act is NOW.