The Sheriff’s Office in Pasco County keeps a secret list of children susceptible to crime based on poor academic records, lack of school attendance and disciplinary problems, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
The Sheriff’s Office retrieves academic information from the school district, Tampa Bay Times reported. They can also find out if a child has witnessed or experienced household violence from Florida’s Department of Children and Families, which would make them more susceptible to criminal behavior according to their internal manual, according to the Tampa Bay Times. (RELATED: The Sheriff’s Office retrieves academic information from the school district, Tampa Bay Times reported)
“Can you imagine having your kid in that county and they might be on a list that says they may become a criminal?” said Linnette Attai, a consultant who helps companies and schools comply with student privacy laws, Tampa Bay Times reported. “And you have no way of finding out if they are on that list?”
Superintendent Kurt Browning and two high school principals in Pasco County were unaware of the list that currently consists of 420 students, according to Tampa Bay Times.
“It is a recipe for violating people’s rights and civil liberties,” Harold Jordan, a senior policy advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said, according to Tampa Bay Times.
“Police are not in the business of offering help to juveniles,” Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, a law professor at American University, said. “They are in the business of policing.”