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Florida schools warn students against latest TikTok challenge

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
A Pasco County sheriff's deputy car parked outside Sunlake High School in 2018. School and law enforcement officials across Florida are warning students not to participate in a social media challenge of making threats of violence against schools.
A Pasco County sheriff's deputy car parked outside Sunlake High School in 2018. School and law enforcement officials across Florida are warning students not to participate in a social media challenge of making threats of violence against schools. [ JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK | Times ]
Published Dec. 17, 2021|Updated Dec. 17, 2021

Remember back in September, when the “devious licks” TikTok challenge was leading kids to vandalize their schools? Well, there’s talk of a new challenge on the site that has schools and law enforcement on alert. It’s supposed to happen today. Read on for that story and more Florida education news.The education roundup will be on holiday during winter break. Enjoy your time off!

This month’s TikTok challenge is to make a threat of violence against a school. School districts across the state have issued warnings in advance against participating in the activity. Brevard County officials said they would remain vigilant, but expected a normal day, Florida Today reports. Lee County’s sheriff used TikTok to remind students that fake threats still have real consequences, Newsweek reports. Several districts turned to social media to address the social media trend, including Pasco.

Parent/Guardian: School districts and law enforcement agencies throughout the Tampa Bay area and the nation are aware...

Posted by Pasco County Schools on Thursday, December 16, 2021

Hot topics

Redistricting: The Hillsborough County School Board has new member districts. Republicans are miffed about the map for the nonpartisan positions.

Public comment: The Palm Beach County School Board is pondering rules to control public comment at meetings. At least one board member argued the board always should listen, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

State vs. feds: The Florida Department of Education returned funds withheld from school districts over their mask rules. In response, the U.S. Department of Education dropped its “cease and desist” complaint against the state, the News Service of Florida reports.

Book bans: The Clay County school district removed the Black queer memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue from its school libraries, WJCT reports. “The United States of America has always had an issue with anything that tells the truth,” author George M. Johnson said.

Teen violence: The Leon County school district is joining forces with law enforcement and community groups to tackle rising violence among young people in the community, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Black teens face a particularly daunting daily situation, the Democrat reports.

School news

A Hillsborough County middle school principal is stepping down. Tim Binder has been accused of creating a hostile work environment, which he denied and criticized the investigation of him. A high-level district supervisor also faces reprimand for keeping a secret file about the principal and shielding him from discipline.

The city of Cape Coral is taking a more hands-on approach to dealing with its local charter schools. It approved a new, less-expensive five-year lease of city buildings to the schools, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

The Bay County school district has begun replacing classroom technology in all its schools. Funding is coming from a recently approved sales tax increase, the Panama City News Herald reports.

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Broward County teachers reached a pay deal with their district. They’ll get raises around 1 percent, plus a $2,000 stipend, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Marion County school district officials are exploring new ways to provide career education. The discussion comes as Marion Technical Institute enrollment plummets, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

The Martin County School Board approved new attendance zones for several high schools. About 450 students will be affected by the move to limit campus crowding, TC Palm reports.

From the court docket ... State Board of Education chairman Tom Grady was found not guilty of federal misdemeanor charges, Florida Politics reports. • A judge questioned the validity of the case against former Broward County school attorney Barbara Myrick, who’s accused of illegally disclosing information from a grand jury proceeding, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • A court hearing over the removal of an Alachua County School Board member came to a halt as both sides asked for more time to gather additional information, the Gainesville Sun reports.

Don’t miss a story. The link to yesterday’s roundup is right here.

Before you go ... How about a little more holiday cheer on our way out? Enjoy the break and we’ll catch back up after the calendar flips!

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