Police shooting becomes issue for some Pinellas schools
The shooting death of St. Petersburg police officer David Crawford, allegedly by 16-year-old Gibbs High student Nick Lindsey, has become a sensitive issue in some Pinellas schools, as noted in today's St. Petersburg Times story.
At yesterday's COQEBS meeting, Gibbs principal Kevin Gordon said three students showed up in recent days wearing T-shirts supporting Lindsey. (The Times story did not point out that Gordon told the students to either change clothes or go. One complied; two were sent home.) He said school officials were monitoring an incendiary Facebook page, which may be this one, "Free LilNick." And he said while only a small minority of students had an us-versus-them mentality about police, it was enough that schools and other institutions needed to address it.
Along those lines, Lori Matway, the school programs administrator for the City of St. Petersburg, sent an email to St. Petersburg school principals after the COQEBS meeting, saying she was "deeply disturbed" by Gordon's comments. She encouraged them to recruit parents to attend this Saturday's Parent University so they could hear keynote speaker Shelly Stewart.
On another related note, the Pinellas County Urban League is organizing a community summit that will include a panel of teens - and that some are hoping will provide a forum for these issues to be addressed. "That's a great place to start," Gordon told The Gradebook. "It gives them, hopefully, a risk-free forum with their peers that they can talk with and talk to. And it's not just educators and/or adults talking to them."