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Hillsborough County Public Schools Takes Steps After Citizen Provides Information

October 18, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications

Tampa, Fla. – (October 18, 2019) – Hillsborough County Public Schools is taking steps to research a claim by a concerned citizen regarding the property at King High School.

The citizen believes an unmarked cemetery for indigent African Americans may have existed in the area near King High School. We are taking this very seriously and are researching this situation.

The documents we have reviewed so far—including an appraisal and deeds, aerial maps and historical county and school records—have conflicting information. We we are taking steps to find out the truth.

The area where the community member believes this cemetery may be located is used for agricultural programs at the school. Today, we relocated that program. We also put up temporary fencing around this area to prevent students and staff from going into the area until we have more information. We have also reached out to experts who can use modern equipment to scan beneath the surface. That process will begin as soon as possible.

This is a top priority for our district now. We intend to show the highest level of respect for the individuals who may be buried in this cemetery and their descendants. We will provide updates as we have more information.


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