Trayvon’s Law is a package of bills that aims at the hearts of problematic policies in Florida that allowed for neighborhood watch guard George
Zimmerman to stalk and kill 17-year-old Trayvon Martin when he was innocently returning to his father’s fiancée’s house from the store.
Trayvon’s Law seeks to reverse state laws that allow people to shoot-and-kill first, then claim self-defense later with impunity; that encourage racial profiling; and that excessively punish black and brown school students for trivial offenses. It will also implement new policies that will enhance the human experience of all people, regardless of race.
Below are the guidelines for changes that we seek through a fully realized Trayvon’s Law:
FLORIDA’S TRAYVON’S LAW
DISMANTLING THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE
KEEPING STUDENTS IN CLASS AND LEARNING
· Keep students in class and learning by placing clear limits on school-based arrests and exclusionary discipline, such as in-school suspensions during class time, out-of-school suspension, transfers to alternative schools, and expulsions, for minor misbehavior.
· Require meaningful parent, student, and community involvement in the creation and implementation of school discipline policy.
· Prohibit exclusionary discipline for minor and subjective behavior, and ensure districts and schools are complying with existing restrictions on suspensions for tardiness, truancy and dress code behaviors.
· Require interventions, in particular Restorative Justice, to be attempted and documented before exclusionary discipline is invoked.
· Remove all references to “zero tolerance” in the administration of school discipline and refocus the purpose away from punitive measures.
· Provide training on and implementation of restorative justice practices at the school level and in juvenile justice diversion programs.
· Require data collection, analysis and concrete, goal-oriented plans at the district and school levels to monitor and reduce racial disparities in all forms of exclusionary discipline, corporal punishment and school-based arrests.
STOPPING THE OVER CRIMINALIZATION OF YOUTH
· Limit the role of police in schools through the use of collaborative agreements, that include student, parent and educators at the table, and data sharing protocols between school districts and school resource/safety officer programs, and establishes clear lines for the narrow circumstances in which law enforcement involvement in school discipline is appropriate.
· Establish selection and training requirements for school resource and school safety officers.
· Foster school environments that are safe and welcoming, free from invasive security equipment and stationed school resource/safety officers.
· Require yearly analysis of school-based arrest data and an evaluation of the cost, effectiveness and necessity of all school resource/safety officer programs, and eliminate or reform programs that lead to the over-criminalization of students or do not cost-effectively increase school safety.
· Fund staff positions proven to improve school climate and safety, like social workers, counselors and restorative justice coordinators at nationally recommended ratios of 250 students to 1 counselor, rather than school resource/safety officers.
· Require immediate notification of parents and school officials anytime a student is arrested at school or a school-related event.
· Ensure that the criminal charge of “disturbing a school function” is used only for non-student disruptions, as the law’s drafters intended.
· End the practice of housing juveniles in adult jails and prison facilities.
ENDING RACIAL PROFILING
· Define and prohibit racial and bias-based profiling by law enforcement on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, national origin, immigration or citizenship status, religion, language, disability, housing status, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
· Require training on racial and bias-based profiling for all law enforcement officers.
· Require detailed, disaggregated data collection on incidents that may be influenced by racial and bias-based profiling, including traffic stops and frisks, among other interactions.
· Create effective enforcement mechanisms through independent Civilian Complaint Review Boards that include representation from youth, people of color, LGBTQ people and other groups protected by this law.
· Create effective enforcement mechanisms through a private right of action for victims of racial and bias-based profiling.
· Create specific community watch program guidelines for adoption at the county level and provide training on avoiding racial and bias-based profiling for community watch programs.
· Fund the development of best practices to end racial and bias-based profiling.
· Collect and publish disaggregated data on victims of homicide cases and outcomes of police investigations into these cases.
REPEALING STAND YOUR GROUND
· Repeal Stand Your Ground.
· Eliminate automatic immunity from prosecution without judicial review.
· Require proof of self-defense claims and establish a burden of proof that does not adversely impact survivors of domestic abuse.
- Trayvon’s Law- Background
- Dream Defenders- Racial Profiling
- Dream Defenders- Stand Your Ground
- Dream Defenders- School-to-Prison Pipeline