Florida principals offer guidance for schools facing violence

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Students are evacuated by police out of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooting on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.
Students are evacuated by police out of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooting on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. [ MIKE STOCKER ]
Published Sept. 23, 2022

The big story: School shootings and other forms have violence have become all too common around the nation.

It’s not easy for campus leaders to know what to do in the moment, or in the aftermath.

Some Florida principals who have been through the scenario have helped write a handbook offering advice to those who follow in those unwanted footsteps.

“Open it, know it’s written by people who walked the walk,” said Elizabeth Brown, who took over Forest High School in Ocala weeks after a 2018 shooting there. More from WOFL.

Hot topics

Employee pay: Pinellas County school support staff reached a deal for raises of 4.25% or more, WMNF reports. The membership must ratify the agreement. • The Palm Beach County School Board approved an agreement to give teachers raises averaging 3.5%, WPBF reports. Teachers still must ratify the offer.

Loan relief: A new federal program offering student loan debt relief would affect about 2.4 million Floridians, the News Service of Florida reports. Learn about how to apply here.

Parent rights: Parents who do not agree with the conservative version of parental rights that’s advancing in Florida schools are organizing counter efforts, the USA Today Florida Network reports. (Subscription required)

Race relations: Some Florida A&M University students filed a class action lawsuit alleging the state of Florida maintains a racially segregated higher education system that disfavors historically Black colleges and universities, Business Wire reports. More from the Washington Post.

School board politics: Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler has led a national fight for conservative viewpoints on local school boards, Washington Examiner reports.

School security: The Flagler County school district is exploring the possibility of supporting resource officers with armed civilians. The cost could approach $600,000, Flagler Live reports.

Superintendents: Palm Beach County superintendent Mike Burke is in line for a raise after a strong performance evaluation, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Other school news

Santa Rosa County middle schools don’t have competitive sports teams. District officials are looking into the possibility of providing them, as inquiries have risen from within the community, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

Leon County’s newest charter school, which opened in August, is set to close in a week. Officials cited low enrollment as a critical factor, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

A Manatee County high school teacher was recorded screaming at a student who did not stand for the Pledge to the flag. The teacher has been removed from contact with students as an investigation takes place, the Bradenton Herald reports.

A Palm Beach County educator was found not guilty of charges she stole from her school. Now she wants her job back, WPTV reports.

A group of Miami-Dade County students will get its science project sent into space. They’re studying capillary action, the Miami Herald reports.

From the court docket ... A former University of South Florida employee who embezzled $13 million from the school is set to be sentenced on Monday. His lawyer is asking for leniency.

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

Before you go ... Icelandic songstress Björk has released this haunting tribute to her mother. Maybe it will resonate with you too.

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