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The 12-year-old girl who withdrew from John Hopkins Middle School after she says she was sexually assaulted in the band room poses for a portrait with her new saxophone in her home. Photos by JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times

In John Hopkins sex assault case, school's handling in question

ST. PETERSBURG — It was almost too heavy for her to carry, but she fell for the saxophone all the same, practicing in the band room at John Hopkins Middle School. She named her instrument "Reed." It made her feel calm. She would come in an hour early to play. She would stay long after the last bell. Then one recent …


  1. Florida ethics panel drops complaint against former Hernando School Board member


    BROOKSVILLE — The Florida Commission on Ethics, acting against the recommendation of the assistant attorney general who presented the case, has decided not to proceed with a complaint against former Hernando County School Board member John Sweeney.

    John K. Sweeney says being on the board worked against him.
  2. To replace Elia, Hillsborough schools faces strong competition for top talent


    TAMPA — As Hillsborough County School Board members get ready to search for a new superintendent, they sound confident they'll attract some top candidates.

    MaryEllen Elia, who was fired on a 4-3 vote, will go on vacation in March, but her contract ends in June.
  3. Rising tuition at public colleges, funding cuts leave students deeper in debt


    Michael Bayne has done everything you're supposed to do to avoid taking on too much debt for college. He lives off-campus to save money on housing. He's always working at least one job — sometimes two. And he enrolled at an in-state public school, Arizona State University.

  4. Guidmii helps high school students point toward the future


    Like most freshman, Abagail Meler, 14, had a lot to learn when she made the leap to East Bay High School.

     William Farragut of Lighthouse Guidance Systems. This is for a story on Guidmii, a system designed to help Hillsborough County middle and high school teens prepare for college.   Photo courtesy of William Farragut
Tampa Bay Times School Search 2015


Families get more choices as Pinellas broadens its school options

The Pinellas County School District is mostly a system of traditional neighborhood schools where students are assigned based on where they live. But you can feel a distinct shift over the p …