1,000 signatures reached
To: Stand with Hillsborough County Public Schools in their decision to NOT deputize teachers by refusing to arm educators in the classroom.
Sign the petition if you reject arming our teachers and show that #WeStandWithTampa!
Why is this important?
On the 9th of May, Governor Ron DeSantis signed FSB 7030 putting our students in harm's way by allowing weapons in classrooms. The bill will allow Florida teachers to arm themselves within classrooms. Recent studies have shown that the (facial) expressions of Black students are 4.12 times more likely to be misidentified as angry than white students’ faces by teachers in the classroom. The results of the study strongly suggest that, just like police officers, teachers exercise similar implicit racial bias when interacting with students within the classroom. Putting guns in the hands of teachers, whose role is to educate, nurture, and inspire sets a dangerous precedent for discipline, intimidation, and violence against Black students in the classroom.
Across the nation, there are alarming disparities in the rates at which Black students are disciplined in comparison to their White peers. Furthermore, the severity of punishments for the similar offenses carry a harsher reality for Black students. Black children are more likely to fall victim to harm should teachers become armed. According to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, last school year Black children made up 51% of school-related arrests across the state, despite making up 21% of the student population. It’s important to note the top three reasons for arrests were incidents where students were unarmed, with the second highest incident being “disorderly conduct”. Due to a systematic process of cuts in schools across the country, behavior modification training is not available to teachers in many districts; therefore, incidents of this nature rarely involve de-escalation practices, but rather punitive punishment and traumatizing outcomes for students and teachers. Teachers should not bear the burden of policing classrooms, and we understand that Black children will be first to fall victim to gun violence in the classroom when weapons are provided to educators.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins recently released a statement advising that Hillsborough County teachers will not be armed in the classroom, in alignment with the district decision to “opt out” of FSB 7030’s Guardian Program.
Sign the petition to acknowledge that #WeStandWithTampa (Hillsborough County Public Schools) to ensure our schools are armed with alternative means of corrective action, rather than firearms in the hands of teachers.
STAND WITH TAMPA (Hillsborough County Public Schools) to “opt out” of harmful practices by refusing to arm teachers in the classroom.