The debate over mask mandates in Florida schools has cooled a bit lately, but it’s far from over. Lawsuits continue to arise, as the state continues to challenge districts that have refused to follow its rules allowing parents to choose whether their children will wear face coverings. Read on for the latest on that story and more Florida education news.
Hillsborough County schools are among a group that still enforce a strict mask requirement. A group of nearly 40 parents have sued the district, saying its rule violates state law.
Alachua County superintendent Carlee Simon has become a major player in the pro-mask movement. She’s an unlikely player in the debate, having risen to leadership ranks in the small district less than a year ago. • Her district recently received a cease and desist letter from a lawyer representing parents who oppose Alachua’s mask rules, WCJB reports.
The Brevard County school district is feeling the heat for its mask mandate. Its School Board plans to meet Tuesday, in advance of a State Board of Education meeting where it faces sanctions, to reconsider its policy, Florida Today reports.
The debate over COVID vaccinations also is impacting the schools. it’s leading to many more students not getting their other inoculations, the USA Today Florida Network reports.
Pinellas County schools have dozens of vacancies in all sorts of job categories. Recruiters visited a local career fair in search of candidates to drive buses, lead classes, serve meals and more.
The Manatee County school district bolsters its employee salaries with local-option property tax revenue. Voters will decide whether to renew the tax in November, the Herald-Tribune reports. The county sheriff encouraged the public to oppose the referendum during a gathering of the “Manatee Patriots,” the Herald-Tribune reports.
School threats and challenges
Enough with the bomb threats already. Gainesville High School evacuated Thursday after receiving its second bomb threat of the week, the Gainesville Sun reports. Having faced several threats in recent days, the Alachua County school district is pledging strict discipline against the offenders, WJXT reports.
Guns on campus, too. A sixth Leon County student has been arrested for bringing a gun to school this year, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
And while we’re at it, TikTok challenges. South Florida school district leaders issued stern warnings to students that they should not trash a restroom or slap a teacher, WPLG reports.
Is pandemic-related stress a factor? Some southwest Florida school officials suggested mental health issues might be a factor in the area’s rise in student threats and arrests, WFTX reports.
Other school news
A Polk County high school football coach has quit after a physical altercation with a student. It wasn’t the first such incident for the 40-year coach, WFLA reports.
A Brevard County family has sued the school district over safety concerns at high school baseball practice. They claim their child was injured during a drill and didn’t get proper medical attention, Florida Today reports.
Follow what’s happening in Tampa Bay schools
Subscribe to our free Gradebook newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
A Duval County charter school plans a mandatory town hall meeting for its community. It comes in response to students found vaping on campus, WJXT reports.
Taylor County’s elected superintendent is resigning. He moved up his departure date to Oct. 8, WCTV reports.
Don’t miss a story. Yesterday’s roundup is just a click away.
Before you go ... This Playing for Change YouTube channel has some terrific versions of excellent songs. Just discovered it, and want to share some more. How about this collaboration on Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”?
• • •
Sign up for the Gradebook newsletter!
Every Thursday, get the latest updates on what’s happening in Tampa Bay area schools from Times education reporter Jeffrey S. Solochek. Click here to sign up.