Advertisement

Florida criticizes school districts over race, LGBTQ rules

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
 
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addresses the crowd before publicly signing HB 7, "individual freedom," also dubbed the "stop woke" bill, in April. The State Board of Education is reviewing school districts' adherence to this and other new laws implemented by the Republican Legislature and governor.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addresses the crowd before publicly signing HB 7, "individual freedom," also dubbed the "stop woke" bill, in April. The State Board of Education is reviewing school districts' adherence to this and other new laws implemented by the Republican Legislature and governor. [ DANIEL A. VARELA | Miami Herald ]
Published Dec. 12, 2022|Updated Dec. 12, 2022

The big story: The State Board of Education takes on what it deems “woke” policies in Florida’s school districts when it meets Wednesday.

What does that mean exactly?

According to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ general counsel, “woke” refers to the “belief there are systemic injustices in America society and the need to address them.” And school districts have adopted rules that the state has suggested violate new law, relating to the equitable treatment of Black, LGBTQ and other student groups.

Ten districts have been targeted, including Hillsborough and Miami-Dade. Read more here.

Leon County school district officials have begun rewriting their LGBTQ guidelines as a result of the state direction. Superintendent Rocky Hanna said the state’s requirements could lead to a decline in student protections, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Other school news

Student discipline: Brevard County School Board members said they wanted to get tougher on misbehavior. After a 7-hour meeting they came away with few action steps to advance their goal, Florida Today reports.

Salary talks: The Sarasota County School Board is set to approve pay raises for teachers and other district staff, the Herald-Tribune reports.

Required vaccinations: The Duval County school district is taking steps to reverse its trend as having the lowest student vaccination rate in the state, WTLV reports. • Polk County surpassed the state average for kindergarten and seventh grade inoculations, the Ledger reports.

Holiday celebrations: A Pasco County school’s debate over allowing Hanukkah lessons has sparked a larger discussion about whether holidays belong in schools at all, Education Week reports.

Employee discipline: An Alachua County school principal has been removed after being found in violation of district policy regarding raffles on school grounds, the Gainesville Sun reports.

Campus safety, security: The Lee County school district will consider implementing the state’s school guardian program, which allows trained school employees to be armed, the North Fort Myers Neighbor reports. • All kindergartners in Florida will receive a free in-home ID kit through their schools, WTSP reports.

Attendance zones: Plans for a new K-8 school call for reassigning more than 1,000 Santa Rosa County students, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

From the police blotter ... A Broward County middle school student faces charges after being arrested on allegations of having a gun at school, the Sun-Sentinel reports. • A Martin County school monitor and part-time coach was arrested on allegations he paid female students to send him nude photos, WPTV reports.

Before you go ... Have you been watching the new Addams Family show “Wednesday” on Netflix? It’s pretty entertaining and dark. Plus it featured this great version of “Paint It Black.”

• • •

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.