School board backs discipline plan
The Pinellas School Board left no doubt last week that it backs a proposed legal agreement that supporters say will change how the district deals with discipline of black students.
At issue is a proposed "memorandum of understanding" that was reached last month by both sides in the district's long-running desegregation case. Both the district and the plaintiffs' representatives in Bradley vs. Pinellas County School Board say the agreement will compel the district to chip away at behaviors and practices that have led it to suspend black students at far higher rates than students of other races.
"What is really significant to me is that it reflects what really is news, which is that we are working together," Roger Plata, co-counsel for the plaintiffs, told the School Board during a workshop Thursday.
"We're very pleased with this, too," said board chair Janet Clark. "It's taken us a long time to move forward, but we finally are."
The board is scheduled to vote on the MOU in June.
Ron Matus, Times staff writer
Coaches honored at banquet
The following high school coaches were honored at a district banquet last week. They were nominated by their peers and received a "Coach of the Year" plaque and shirt.
• Baseball, Greg Olsen, Seminole
• Boys basketball, Chris Blackwell, St. Petersburg
• Girls basketball, William White, Boca Ciega
• Boys cross country, Bruce Calhoun, Seminole
• Girls cross country, Bruce Calhoun, Seminole
• Flag football, Cory Snover, Clearwater
• Football, Kenneth Crawford, Pinellas Park
• Golf, Terrence O'Reilly, East Lake
• Boys soccer, Rick Masi, Seminole
• Girls soccer, John Planamenta, Palm Harbor University
• Softball, Mike Estes, East Lake
• Boys swimming, Ian O'Neil, Countryside
• Girls swimming, Dave Paul, Clearwater
• Boys tennis, Todd St. Louis, St. Petersburg
• Girls tennis, Bonita Holmes, Gibbs
• Boys track, Eileen Givens, Countryside
• Girls track, Anthony Snead, Lakewood
• Volleyball, Tara Kuk, Palm Harbor University
• Wrestling, Marc Allison, Dunedin
Also recognized at the banquet: Knology Sports Scholar Student Correspondent of the Year, Samantha McNamara from Gibbs High School.