Keep your pants on
As we noted in this morning's news roundup, Sen. Gary Siplin's bill to set school disciplinary policies for kids who wear their pants too low is gaining some traction that it hasn't gained in previous tries. (See the Herald-Tribune article here.)
Well, on second reading this morning, several senators indicated that while they appreciated the effort, they still harbored a lot of buts about the legislation that could signal its eventual demise.
"Why should we have to do this?" wondered Sen. Evelyn Lynn, who has served on education related committees for years. "Why are you not working with school districts to have them crack down?"
Sen. Charlie Dean, a former Citrus County sheriff, noted that schools already have law enforcement officers available to enforce disciplinary actions that get out of hand. "I don't want to usurp that authority," Dean said, adding, "I support where you're coming from, but ..."
Senate education chairman Don Gaetz, a former Okaloosa County superintendent, meanwhile questioned whether the Legislature has the authority to set school-based penalties so specifically. "I appreciate the good intent of your bill, but ...," he began.
Siplin defended his bill as "pro-family ... pro-education and pro-jobs," saying lawmakers send down mandates all the time. Debate didn't get too heavy, though, as it was put off for the final reading.
There's an identical bill in the House awaiting action.