As parents assert rights, Florida schools seek ‘civility’ in interactions

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
Pasco schools superintendent Kurt Browning has proposed a new civility policy for schools to follow when dealing with disruptive visitors, including parents. The proposal has been criticized as an overreach.
Pasco schools superintendent Kurt Browning has proposed a new civility policy for schools to follow when dealing with disruptive visitors, including parents. The proposal has been criticized as an overreach.
Published Nov. 8, 2022|Updated Nov. 8, 2022

The big story: Growing groups of parents have been asserting their rights within Florida’s public school system, as outlined and protected by state lawmakers in recent years.

Sometimes, school officials have found the parents to be abusive as they make demands.

In Pasco County, the superintendent is calling for added civility from all sides. His proposal, which goes up for a public hearing Tuesday morning, has received criticism from some in the community who contend it’s just a new way for the district to tell pesky parents to sit down and shut up.

Read more here.

Hot topics

UF president search: Ben Sasse, the anticipated next University of Florida president, faces a challenge from critics to prove he’s trustworthy and above the partisan politics that have defined his career to this point. He’s getting some advice on how to get there. • Sasse’s proposed contract would pay him a base salary of $1 million per year, WCJB reports. The Board of Governors is scheduled to vote on his appointment this week.

School elections: Today’s the final day to cast your ballot for your local school board races and referendums. Polls close at 7 p.m. local time. • In Miami-Dade County, school district officials warned of budget cuts if voters don’t approve a property tax initiative, WLRN reports. • The USA Today Florida Network identified eight board races to watch, including three from the Tampa Bay area. • Lee County voters will decide whether their district should return to an elected superintendent, Florida Politics reports. • Broward County races could again swing the balance of power on a board that has seen several members removed and replaced by the governor, Florida Politics reports.

Hurricane preparedness: State officials warned Floridians to stay alert for subtropical storm Nicole. • Schools in Lee and Collier counties, hard hit by Hurricane Ian, made no immediate closure plans, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. • Martin and St. Lucie county public schools will close Wednesday and Thursday in advance of Nicole, WPTV reports. The Indian River and Okeechobee county school districts also plan to close, WPBF reports.

Contract talks: Bay County teachers and the school district are about $4 million apart in their salary negotiations, WMBB reports.

Bus rides: The Duval County school district will begin sending messages to families whose children’s buses are late by 30 minutes or more, WJAX reports.

Other school news

A Pasco County high school teacher has filed a complaint against a fellow teacher for painting a New Testament verse on a parking lot space. The school said it would not force the removal of the verse, despite the complaint, the Jewish Press of Pinellas County reports.

A Brevard County private school bases its lessons on eco-gardening and outdoor activities. It began as an option for home-schooled students and grew from there, WKMG reports.

The Manatee County School Board billed the county government for using district property as a debris dump without permission. The county is refusing to pay, the Herald-Tribune reports.

The University of Tampa received one of its largest financial gifts. The Morsani family donation will go toward the school’s honors college.

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From the police blotter ... Law enforcement investigated a Sarasota County high school coach for accusations of inappropriate touching of female students, but did not recommend charges. The coach remains on leave under district review, the Herald-Tribune reports.

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

Before you go ... Country great Loretta Lynn passed away in early October. Late in the month, stars put together a tribute concert. Tanya Tucker offered this version of “Blue Kentucky Girl.”

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