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Students have free speech rights online, off campus, U.S. Supreme Court says

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
In this April 4, 2021, file photo provided by the American Civil Liberties Union, Brandi Levy wears her cheerleading outfit as she looks at her mobile phone outside Mahanoy Area High School in Mahanoy City, Pa. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, June 23, 2021, that the public school wrongly suspended Levy from cheerleading over a vulgar social media post she made after she didn't qualify for the varsity team.
In this April 4, 2021, file photo provided by the American Civil Liberties Union, Brandi Levy wears her cheerleading outfit as she looks at her mobile phone outside Mahanoy Area High School in Mahanoy City, Pa. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, June 23, 2021, that the public school wrongly suspended Levy from cheerleading over a vulgar social media post she made after she didn't qualify for the varsity team. [ DANNA SINGER | AP ]
Published Jun. 24

Schools often take steps to maintain control over student behavior. Sometimes, they take actions based on situations that occurred away from campus, during non-school hours. While that’s okay in certain circumstances, the nation’s highest court decided, schools must take care not to overstep children’s constitutional rights. Read on for the latest on that story and more Florida education news.

Students don’t shed their rights at the schoolhouse gate. The U.S. Supreme Court reasserted that position in a Pennsylvania high school cheerleader’s First Amendment case. The ruling could impact the policies of at least one Florida school district.

Charter schools

Florida law requires school districts to give charter schools 90-day notice for proposed closure. The Hillsborough County School Board failed to do that with four charters. Now it’s facing trouble with the state Department of Education.

A Manatee County charter school aims to overcome an education ‘crisis’ facing minority boys. The school plans to continue its mission even as its leadership makes major changes, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Higher education

Florida State University has a new president. The Board of Governors confirmed Richard McCullough’s appointment, and asked him about his views on issues including intellectual diversity on campus.

Student athletes will be allowed to profit from their name, image and likeness. The Board of Governors approved rules outlining how the process will work, the News Service of Florida reports.

Florida needs more nurses. The University of South Florida is taking steps to boost enrollment in its training programs.

School news

Schools are preparing to get back to normal in the fall. Brevard County officials intend to keep some health protocols in place, saying they make sense even when there’s not a pandemic, Florida Today reports. • Palm Beach County district leaders faced angry parents as the School Board prepared to loosen its pandemic restrictions, the Palm Beach Post reports. More from WPTV.

Get it right. Some Miami-Dade County residents criticized the school district, claiming it planned to teach critical race theory and force students to get vaccinated. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho responded that such statements aren’t true and never have been, the Miami Herald reports.

Top administrators continue their exodus from Broward County schools. The district’s chief safety officer is the latest to resign, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

The Santa Rosa County school district never implemented a program placing armed school employees on campuses. Some community members want the district to adopt the model, WKRG reports.

That’s nineteen new job positions. The Alachua County School Board approved its superintendent’s controversial administrative reorganization, the Gainesville Sun reports.

Third-grade reading scores dropped slightly across Florida. Results were better in districts with higher percentages of in-person students, WLRN reports. Among the districts, Leon County saw a 7 percentage point decline from 2019, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Marion County showed gains, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. Volusia and Flagler schools dipped, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Polk County scores also were down, with fewer than half of the students passing the annual exam, the Ledger reports.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.

Before you go ... Interested in learning more about the U.S. Supreme Court case Manahoy School District vs. B.L.? It’s a little longer than other things we’ve shared here, but how about the oral arguments from this past spring? You know you want to listen.