The big story: Florida’s ongoing debate over which books belong on school shelves continues to heat up, with new laws that some observers consider vague taking effect as educators prepare for a classes to resume.
Representatives from groups such as Moms for Liberty are pressing school boards to remove specific titles, arguing they include pornographic scenes or other content not suitable for children. They’ve stopped short of filing formal complaints, though, leaving boards to consider how to proceed.
The districts face criticism from anti-censorship organizations if they conduct independent staff reviews of materials, as took place in Pinellas County this week. If they hold firm to insisting on a formal objection procedure, some board members have started to question why they can’t act in accordance with the law and community concerns, as was discussed in Hillsborough County this week.
Leon County superintendent Rocky Hanna did just that, removing five books this week after personally reviewing them at the request of his local Moms for Liberty chapter. More such moves could be on the way, WFSU reports.
Districts are approaching the issues differently, as they attempt to interpret the new laws while waiting for further clarification from the state. Read more here.
As schools grapple with these book related matters, media specialists have become key players, and they’re often overworked. The Brevard County School Board is considering whether to return media assistants to the libraries to help, Florida Today reports.
Vouchers: More than 300,000 students have had their Florida voucher applications approved under the new expanded eligibility rules, WKMG reports.
Superintendent searches: The Duval County School Board is targeting a Jan. 1 start date for its next superintendent, WJXT reports.
Security: The Miami-Dade County School Board gave initial approval to revise district policies limiting weapons on school campuses, WTVJ reports.
Pay raises: The Volusia County school district and the union representing trade workers agreed on an average 2% pay hike for employees, WKMG reports.
Classroom technology: The Citrus County School Board decided to purchase insurance for all student and staff iPads, rather than ask parents to cover the cost, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.
Bus rides: The Palm Beach County school district is offering bonuses up to $5,000 in an effort to fill dozens of bus driver vacancies, WPTV reports.
Arts instruction: The Flagler County school district plans to continue its youth orchestra, but has yet to find a new director for the popular program, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
From the police blotter ... A Miami-Dade County teacher was arrested on allegations of having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old student, WPLG reports.
From the court docket ... A judge will allow reenactments of the 2018 shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High as part of a civil lawsuit against the former deputy who did not go inside as the events occurred, CNN reports.
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Before you go ... First there was Pokemon Go, an app aimed at getting players up and moving. It was perhaps inevitable that Pokemon Sleep would follow. Can’t wait for that competition.
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