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School Board District 7

It's primary season--so we will be sending more emails than normal. Thank you for being involved in your local community. District 7 is county-wide, so everyone in Hillsborough County can vote in this specific district. 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.



 

Dr. Jeffery Alex James Johnson is a candidate for School Board District 7. 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? *

"I would work with district officials and community stakeholders to ensure preventative programming is available in our schools. I will advocate for less "policing" presence and more social workers, schools psychologist, and behavioral specialist. It is imperative that before and after school programming is available along with middle and high school apprentice and vocational programs.. This will reduce any extra curricular activities that may lead to mischief and trouble."

 
Sally Harris is a candidate for School Board District 7. 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? *


"We will need to admit that this is an issue and be able to have robust conversations openly to discuss ways to change the cultural. Make sure our stake holders including teachers, guidance etc are trained and provided with the tools and resources, strategies and positive mindset to provide a positive school cultural."

Dr. Angela Schroden is a candidate for School Board District 7. 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? *

"The United States is 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s prisoners.
We have a prison population of 2.3 million.
The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world.

What is happening here is not surprising. Rather, it is a microcosm of what is happening in this country. There is no program nor quick fix for this systemic problem. This challenge requires a fundamentally different way of operating. Systems don’t change because we identify them. They change because we disrupt them.

Let me begin with three beliefs that guide my thinking, then I will list a few ideas I think are critical to changing this outcome.

Beliefs:
- Anytime an operating system—like a school or a curriculum – consistently fails a specific subset of people, there is not something wrong with the people, there is something wrong with the system. (Minor, 2019)
- Every child deserves an education that guarantees that safety to learn in the comfort of their own skin. (Simmons, 2020).
- Our children don’t need to be fixed, they need to be supported (Me, 2020).

Actions:
- All decisions within our schools must be made through an anti-bias, anti-racist and asset-based lens. This includes hiring, pedagogical decisions, the curriculum that is used, policies that are written, committees that are formed, etc.
• Recognize and change inequitable policies at the district, school and classroom level that have an adverse effect on specific populations (see above.) This requires actually listening to all our stakeholders to see where the inequitable policies are causing damage and then take necessary action to revise, rewrite or remove the policy.
• Review ALL curriculum through the lens of equity to ensure materials that marginalize students and families, or omit historically silenced voices, are not used.
• Advocate for educator training on how to plan for equitable curriculum and respond to bias and racism. This is not a “I took an hour of training and I’m good”, this is on-going training, dialogue and a commitment to reflection of practices and impact over intent."

All School Board Candidate Responses
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