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School Board District 3

It's primary season--so we will be sending more emails than normal. Thank you for being involved in your local community. Are you in District 3? You can find out who is on your ballot here.

RJC is not endorsing anyone in the primary, but we are providing you with candidate answers. Not every candidate in every race responded, so we are only providing what we have. Feel free to forward this email to your friends and family.



 

Alexandra Gilmore is a candidate for School Board District 3. See all of her responses here.

The school to prison pipeline continues to impact Black children at disproportionate rates. Children as young as six years old have been hauled out of Florida schools in handcuffs for normal child behavior (like tantrums). Suspensions and expulsions are more likely to impact Black children. As a school board member, how will you combat this racial inequities? *

"My first suggestion to combat the racial inequalities of Black children would be to hire more black educators and Administrators who can understand the cultural aspects of these children. A diverse teaching base that can deescalate a situation and have alternatives in place besides handcuffs and suspensions. Based on my experience as an educator I've witnessed and counselled young individuals to de-escalate situations prior to going to administration because I built a relationship of trust with my students and they knew I did not want them to be another statistic. That is the key. I would suggest a policy where we track and document steps taken for de-escalation and if a school has a high disport number I as a board member would want to visit that school to determine why."
 
Jennifer Hill is a candidate for School Board District 3. See all of her responses here.
 

The school to prison pipeline continues to impact Black children at disproportionate rates. Children as young as six years old have been hauled out of Florida schools in handcuffs for normal child behavior (like tantrums). Suspensions and expulsions are more likely to impact Black children. As a school board member, how will you combat this racial inequities? *


"First off, a resource officer should not be allowed near the school until they have not been trained in pediatric mental health issues or child psychology. The resource officer should be evaluated for mental health issues themselves and be trained in de-escalation techniques. Much like teachers, only certified officers that have studied child behavior in addition to their normal training should be allowed to interact with a student. If a trained officer is not available, the school administrators, guidance counselor or nurse must be held accountable for the safety of the child until a parent or guardian can be reached. No child should be removed from school grounds unless they are given permission by the parent or guardian or escorted by a certified child mental health advocate. I would collaborate with Hillsborough sheriff’s department to determine training techniques especially in the realm of restorative justice. I would also like to create more accurate data-tracking and transparency for student behavior."

Jessica Vaughn is a candidate for School Board District 3. See all of her responses here.
 

The school to prison pipeline continues to impact Black children at disproportionate rates. Children as young as six years old have been hauled out of Florida schools in handcuffs for normal child behavior (like tantrums). Suspensions and expulsions are more likely to impact Black children. As a school board member, how will you combat this racial inequities? *


"Positive approaches and restorative justice approaches result in improved school climates and increased educational opportunities. I will vote for and advocate for restorative approaches to discipline within our schools. We need less authoritarian/policing in our schools and more nurturing. This means replacing resource officers with nurses, social workers and mental health professionals. We also need to reduce or end the overuse of suspensions, expulsions and arrests in schools. This form of discipline only contributes to the school to prison pipeline. There are absolutely no reason elementary school students should ever be baker-acted. We need to focus on prevention and intervention measures as opposed to punitive responses. Also, we need to focus on diversity within our teaching staff, cultural bias training for teachers and for our school staff with a focus on de-escalation strategies."

 
 
Rick Warrener is a candidate for School Board District 3. See all of his responses here
 

The school to prison pipeline continues to impact Black children at disproportionate rates. Children as young as six years old have been hauled out of Florida schools in handcuffs for normal child behavior (like tantrums). Suspensions and expulsions are more likely to impact Black children. As a school board member, how will you combat this racial inequities? *


"Each of the five questions has the common denominator of the need for more resources to help accomplish better outcomes. More resources are a combination of more funding and better coordination of available resources.

Disruptive behavior occurs at all ages. It needs to be addressed in younger children largely through prevention via Pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs and parenting workshops, and programs such
as HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Pre-school Youngsters). Older children can be helped to see the value of becoming engaged in their own education by that special teacher, counselor, mentor, or community member. Hillsborough County currently plans to staff just two “Family Opportunity Centers” with a social worker to help parents navigate the wide range of social services available. The school district would like to expand the use of Family Opportunity Centers but is limited by the funding provided by the state legislature. Florida ranks 44th among the states in per-pupil funding for K-12 Public Education. The legislature’s funding is also less than adequate for the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Juvenile Justice."

All School Board Candidate Responses
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