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Florida education news: Guns, unions, walkouts and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
 
The House Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday 18-11 along mostly party lines against an assault weapons ban. Rep.
 Bill Hager of Boca Raton, was the only Republican to vote with Democrats. [MARY ELLEN KLAS | Times/Herald]
The House Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday 18-11 along mostly party lines against an assault weapons ban. Rep. Bill Hager of Boca Raton, was the only Republican to vote with Democrats. [MARY ELLEN KLAS | Times/Herald]
Published Feb. 28, 2018|Updated Feb. 28, 2018

GUNS: With some popular measures such as more armed school  resource officers, and some unpopular ones including a voluntary plan to train and arm some teachers, Florida lawmakers advance bills they say will heighten school security. • Many people pushed for an assault weapon ban, including the Pinellas County School Board, which passed a resolution calling for one. • Brevard County parents are split on whether to allow some armed staff in schools, Florida Today reports. Volusia County residents say they don't want armed teachers, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • The Okaloosa County School Board approves adding more resource officers, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

SAFETY MEASURES: Sarasota County's superintendent asks to delay the district's five-year capital plan to refocus it on security, the Herald-Tribune reports. • South Florida school officials continue to seek better ways to keep students safe, the Miami Herald reports. • The Manatee County School Board finalizes its security plan, the Herald-Tribune reports. • Sensing an opening, vendors of metal detectors and related goods and services are reaching out to superintendents.

UNIONS: The Senate Appropriations Committee adds union decertification language back into HB 7055, the legislature's primary education bill, just a week after the Education Committee removed the wording. The panel also inserted a provision to require all public schools to post "In God We Trust" in a prominent place, a measure the Senate had not discussed to this point. More from Daytona Beach News-Journal.

WALKOUTS: The Pasco County school district administration tells principals not to punish students who participate in peaceful walkouts organized to call for school safety or gun control. • St. Johns County superintendent Tim Forson tells students he will walk with them protesting for school safety, the St. Augustine Record reports.

THREATS: Any Bay County student making a threat against a school will be arrested, the Panama City News Herald reports.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students head back to classes, the Miami Herald reports.

BUDGET: A plan is in the works for the Legislature to complete its budget on time.

HIGHER EDUCATION: Lawmakers also came closer to agreement on higher education legislation that has been a Senate priority, the News Service of Florida reports. The proposals have included a move to consolidate all three USF campuses under a single accreditation.

GAMING: Students in a Bay County high school have fun while learning to design video games, the Panama City News Herald reports.

IN COURT: Some Santa Rosa County parents are considering a lawsuit against the school district over a substitute teacher who molested their children, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

OFF CAMPUS: A Walton County teacher's aide is removed while under investigation of accusations she abused a student, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

TODAY: Senate session, 10 a.m.• House session, 10:30 a.m. • Gov. Rick Scott travels the state to highlight his school safety plan, including a stop in Tampa.