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Do uniforms improve school safety? A Florida district debates the issue.

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state
 
Somerset Academy Key students are shown in their school uniforms at dismissal in Deerfield Beach on Thursday, May 25, 2023. The Broward County school district is considering a uniform requirement for high schools as a way to improve security.
Somerset Academy Key students are shown in their school uniforms at dismissal in Deerfield Beach on Thursday, May 25, 2023. The Broward County school district is considering a uniform requirement for high schools as a way to improve security. [ AMY BETH BENNETT | South Florida Sun-Sentinel ]
Published May 30, 2023

The big story: Five years after the Parkland school shooting massacre, officials are still looking for ways to keep students more safe and secure.

In Broward County, where the deadly shooting occurred, School Board members are considering options such as requiring clear backpacks and using metal detectors at entrances. They’re also contemplating dress code changes.

Long a staple at some elementary schools, uniforms could become mandatory at Broward middle and high schools beginning in 2024 as a way to help employees recognize anyone who doesn’t belong on campus.

The idea is generating concern among students, though, who question how a uniform could improve safety. Read more from the Sun-Sentinel.

Meanwhile, the trial of the deputy accused of endangering children with his actions at the 2018 Parkland shooting is set to begin with jury selection, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Hot topics

Board politics: An online petition calling for the removal of Hernando County School Board member Shannon Rodriguez, who has accused teachers of trying to indoctrinate children, has received nearly 20,000 signatures, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Bus schedules: School district officials across Florida are raising questions about the potential costs of a new mandate that high schools begin classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m., the Orlando Sentinel reports. They have until 2026 to implement the law.

Community services: The Pasco County school district joined with the Florida Department of Health to introduce a Women, Infants and Children nutrition clinic at Gulfside Elementary, Suncoast News reports.

DeSantis agenda: As he seeks the Republican nomination for president, Gov. Ron DeSantis is leaning heavily on his message of expanding parents’ rights in schools and eliminating “woke” from the curriculum, Politico reports.

Graduation: Seniors at a Duval County high school are hoping for a quick fix after their graduation gowns arrived emblazoned with “Class of 2022″ instead of the proper year, WJXT reports.

Superintendents: The Escambia County school district is assessing next steps for its leadership after fired superintendent Tim Smith’s last day on the job, the Pensacola News-Journal repots. • The Broward County School Board is expected to narrow its selection for its next superintendent, WLRN reports.

Taxes: A half-percent sales tax is helping pay for new schools in Volusia County, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

“The Hill We Climb”: The Miami-Dade County mom who pushed a school to restrict access to Amanda Gorman’s poem says she read only portions of it before filing her objection, USA Today reports. • At a home-school convention, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the poem was not banned, calling the situation a “hoax,” Florida Politics reports.

Yearbooks: Parents at one Seminole County high school argue the school’s yearbook includes information about LGBTQ+ issues that is inappropriate, WOFL reports. School officials said the material does not violate any rules.

From the police blotter ... A Hillsborough County charter school principal was arrested on allegations of failure to report suspected abuse of a student.

Before you go ... What did those Disney princesses do to land them in the clink? Imagine if Belle, Snow White and the others had roles in “Chicago.”

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