Florida education news: school security concerns, class disruption, learning Chinese and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, students wear clear backpacks, one of a number of security measures that came into play after last year's shooting at the school. Another measure -- a state database designed to flag troubling patterns among students -- is being criticized by civil rights groups as too invasive. [Associated Press]
At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, students wear clear backpacks, one of a number of security measures that came into play after last year's shooting at the school. Another measure -- a state database designed to flag troubling patterns among students -- is being criticized by civil rights groups as too invasive. [Associated Press]
Published July 10

PARKLAND: Civil rights groups have banded together to fight against the state’s proposed student security database, the Tampa Bay Times reports. In a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis Tuesday, the 32 groups wrote that the still-developing database is an attempt at “mass surveillance” that could stir fear among students.

DISCIPLINE: Wharton High had far more students removed for disruption last year than any other school in Hillsborough County, the Tampa Bay Times reports. It was the school’s first year under a new principal.

SUMMER SCHOOL: A Chinese school in Tampa is offering classes through the end of summer to meet the demand of those wanting to learn the language, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Students include people traveling to China, children whose parents want them to learn Chinese and a karate instructor who wants to communicate better with those in his class.

CHARGES DROPPED : Prosecutors have dropped charges against an 18-year-old Port Charlotte student who was arrested in April after drawing an image that depicted violence against a teacher, the Port Charlotte Sun reports. His lawyer says the picture was simply a “bad joke.”

NEW LEADERSHIP: Lake County school superintendent Diane Kornegay was elected to the Florida Association of District School Superintendents’ board of directors Tuesday, the Daily Commercial reports.

TEST INVESTIGATION: Volusia County school will release on Monday results of its investigation into fake Advanced Placement tests given to students as part of a principal’s “experiment,” the News-Journal reports.

OUSTED PRINCIPAL: The Palm Beach County principal removed after refusing to say the Holocaust is a historical fact is making false claims about his firing, the Palm Beach Post reports. He says he was removed because a parent made untrue statements about him, which is not accurate.

MISSPENDING: University of Central Florida leaders have approved a plan that should help them move past a construction spending controversy that drew criticism from state education leaders, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

TAXES: Clay County commissioners unanimously rejected placing a half-cent sales tax for schools on voters’ ballots this year, asking the School Board for more time and details, the Times-Union reports.

Advertisement