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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

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NO PASS, NO PLAY: Florida middle schools have rules about students playing sports - they need to keep a C average to participate. Enforcement can be pretty lax. But not at Gulf Middle in New Port Richey, where even one needs improvement in "punctuality" can put a kid on the bench.

MAYBE THEY NEED AN OPT-OUT FORM: Don't think this is about a gay-straight alliance. The Hernando County School Board is looking into how to inform parents about campus blood drives and make sure they're OK with their children donating. Why? A parent complaint that his son fainted with extremely low blood pressure after giving a pint, and dad didn't know he would be giving.

THE LETTER IS IN THE MAIL: And you should get it by Saturday. No, really. The Pinellas school district has sent out answers to the 18,000 or so parents who applied for school choice for their children. On the waiting list? You could get the seat you wanted as early as May.

RUSHING TO FINISH: Construction on a new elementary school in Wesley Chapel is about two months behind schedule to open in January. Crews started working double-time Tuesday to meet the deadline.

SHOOTING ON THEIR MINDS: Students at universities across Florida worry that a tragedy like what happened at Virginia Tech could happen at their schools, too. The chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee plans to have a hearing this month to determine what university leaders are doing to ensure that it doesn't, the Lakeland Ledger reports.

LOWE OUT: The Florida Senate won't take up FAMU board chair Challis Lowe's reappointment, ending her term quietly. She just couldn't overcome her vote against incoming president James Ammons.

Broward County doesn't have an elected superintendent. But the School Board of Florida's second-largest district says it won't give interim CEO Jim Notter the job permanently unless the public approves, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

CUFF 'EM: The Milwaukee (Wis.) school district will allow its safety aides to restrain "thrashers" with flexible handcuffs, the Journal-Sentinel reports. Better than having a 300-pound officer sit on them until they calm down, officials reason.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:16am]


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