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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida schools get a little more tolerant



Story We've heard all the stories of a miniature toy G.I. Joe gun or a stray Tylenol caplet getting a Florida school student tossed out, no matter how harmless and unintentional the infraction. How often did we hear, the rules are the rules.

Well, the new rules call for a little more flexibility. Zero tolerance at schools now allows for educators to make some calls at their own discretion of whether the teen with a plastic knife on the floor of his pickup in the parking lot really meant to harm someone, or if it really just fell there during a weekend picnic.

School and justice officials say they don't plan to let kids get all wild and free. But, as one Department of Juvenile Justice director told the St. Augustine Record, "Once you introduce a kid to the juvenile justice system, the likelihood that he or she returns to the system greatly increases."

The goal is to save the big guns for the real guns, keeping the small stuff in-house as long as possible. School officials asked for this, and Florida lawmakers delivered. Only time will tell whether the new order will work.


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:33am]


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