Dear Dr. Crew:

The Miami-Dade NAACP is very disturbed by the police union’s vote of no confidence in Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Gerald Darling.

We met with Chief Darling early in his tenure, and have maintained contact ever since.

The National NAACP has declared that the “schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline” is a national emergency.  The “no tolerance “policies across the country have turned misbehaviors that were handled internally not too many years ago – and from which many young people rebounded into being productive citizens – into lifelong labels as criminals.

These policies have succeeded primarily in closing many options for life except criminality to these young  people.

Chief Darling, on the other hand, has pioneered in efforts such as establishing a “civil citation” procedure for minor first offenses that clearly addresses the inappropriateness of a student’s behavior without pushing him or her toward the jailhouse pipeline. Rather, this procedure steers students toward the pipeline to productive citizenship.

The Miami-Dade NAACP executive committee has voted to urge you to support Chief Darling in his efforts to have a safe and secure school environment, while at the same time ensuring that, to the fullest extent possible, offending students are steered in the right direction with their behavior, and not toward the negative areas of society.

Bradford E. Brown Ph.D.
Political Action Chair, First Vice President, Miami-Dade NAACP

Editor’s Note:
This is a reprint of a letter that was sent to Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Rudy Crew, and copied to the Miami-Dade School Board.