Push for Florida lawmakers to study inequalities

More than 70 percent of students arrested are black, Hispanic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 31-day sleep-in at the Florida Capitol prompted changes in access rules at the building, and now the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys wants lawmakers to help in the research of inequalities.

Numbers don't lie. If you're a black male, you're more likely to be locked up than any other ethnic group.

"Our mission is to study those conditions and come up with remedies for them," said Eddie Regnier, who's on the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.

Thursday morning, the council worked to address racial disparities in Florida. The council wants lawmakers to fund research on inequalities.

"We have a statute that doesn't allow us to really spend the money to do the research in the way we need to do it," Regnier said.

The study has support from both Republicans and Democrats.

"I think that it's in some great hands, getting bi-partisan participation from both houses," said Sen. Oscar Braynon II.

Earlier this summer, the Dream Defenders brought racial inequality to the forefront across Florida. They sat in the state Capitol for 31 days to address what they are calling important issues like the school-to-prison-pipeline.

According to the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Right's Office more than 70 percent of students arrested or referred to law enforcement are black or Hispanic.

"If we move forward in Florida, you'll see we may become a model to help solve some of those in the country," Braynon said. "It's not just Florida where black men and boys have issues. It's all over the country."

Lawmakers say if the research is properly done it may help find solutions for multiple problems, which could result in a better future for Florida's youth, no matter their race.

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