The big story: After Parkland, Florida’s state government leaders made a big show of focusing on social-emotional learning.
It was a way, they said, to tackle the mental health problems that might afflict a future school shooter. Addressing such concerns was more important than restricting access to guns, they contended.
As time passed, the talk about keeping schools safe and improving services to students remained. But the support for social-emotional learning gave way to a strong disdain among many, who lumped it in with other “unsolicited theories that may lead to student indoctrination.”
After Uvalde, that conversation began getting a closer look. Read more here.
Meanwhile, school threats continued. Over the weekend, a Hillsborough County teen was arrested on accusations of suggesting he was armed and headed to the nearest school. A Lee County 10-year-old was arrested for text messages saying he was going to shoot up a school, the Associated Press reports.
In Martin County, a teen boarded a school bus wearing a “Scream” costume and carrying a fake knife, TC Palm reports. The student was not arrested for what was determined to be a poor year-end prank, but will face school discipline.
“There’s nothing in the modern era in America that has anything to do with violence that would be funny in a school environment,” Martin Sheriff William Snyder said. “There’s just nothing funny about it.”
Public comment: The Brevard County sheriff has told the School Board his deputies will not enforce the board’s policy of removing speakers who make comments deemed out of order by the chairperson, Florida Today reports.
Gender issues: A Broward County parent group accused the school district of supporting students who want to hide their transgender identity from their families, Fox News reports.
Career education: Plans for a new collegiate high school in Bay County were bolstered with a $7.6 million grant from Deepwater Horizon recovery funds, the Panama City News Herald reports.
Taxes: The Clay County school district is seeking renewal of its four-year local-option property tax that supports safety and security measures, WKMG reports.
Charter schools: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law two measures that will make it easier for charter schools to operate, reimaginED reports.
Other school news
A Hillsborough County teen started a nonprofit organization aimed at alleviating period poverty. Her efforts will bring free feminine hygiene products to girls’ restrooms in several Hillsborough County high schools.
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Former education commissioner Richard Corcoran is the newest appointee to the State University System Board of Governors. Corcoran left the DeSantis administration a month ago and has joined a lobbying firm, the News Service of Florida reports.
A Bay County elementary school paraprofessional was named Florida school-related employee of the year. “It is very humbling because I love teaching and I love bringing what I bring to the classroom,” Greg Lyon told the Panama City News Herald.
A Citrus County elementary school will participate in a national effort to protect native plants. Central Ridge Elementary is one of 24 schools across the nation to receive a grant for the program, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.
A Palm Beach County private school reached a deal to continue operations in its current church location. The school and church continue to feud in court, WPEC reports.
Before you go ... Depeche Mode keyboardist and co-founder Andy “Fletch” Fletcher passed away late last week. We will never be able to get enough of the iconic New Wave band.
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