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Florida education news: School security, book bans, student shots and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Pinellas Sheriff's trainers line the back of the room Monday as more than 100 school security officers, or "guardians,"  began training -- part of the state's response to the Feb. 14 Parkland school shooting. "You're going to be some people's last hope of a savior in the worst time," Sheriff's Lt. Greg Danzig told the recruits. "It's an unnecessary evil, but the people in this room are the ones that are going to do something about it." [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
Pinellas Sheriff's trainers line the back of the room Monday as more than 100 school security officers, or "guardians," began training -- part of the state's response to the Feb. 14 Parkland school shooting. "You're going to be some people's last hope of a savior in the worst time," Sheriff's Lt. Greg Danzig told the recruits. "It's an unnecessary evil, but the people in this room are the ones that are going to do something about it." [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
Published Aug. 22, 2019

SPENDING: The Florida Board of Education calls on lawmakers to increase funding for school mental health services and armed security in its next education budget, the News Service of Florida reports. Outside the board’s meeting, Broward County teachers rallied for higher salaries and better funding of academic programs, WLRN reports.

TOO HOT: Pasco County’s Cotee River Elementary School enters its third day without air conditioning.

SECURITY: A private company paid to train Palm Beach County school guards did not meet statutory requirements, the News Service of Florida reports. The county sheriff says his agency will have to provide the training all over again, the Palm Beach Post reports.

GETTING THERE: The Citrus County school districts asks parents for patience as it works through overcrowded buses and slow routes, the Citrus County Chronicle reports. • Martin County parents worry about their children’s safety as the school district no longer grandfathers in courtesy bus rides for those living closer than 2 miles from school, TC Palm reports.

BOOK CHALLENGE: The Marion County School Board rejects a tea party request to ban three titles from high schools, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

HIRING AND FIRING: The Escambia County School Board deletes a requirement for a super majority to fire its appointed superintendent, a position it has yet to fill, the Pensacola News-Journal reports.

BOW YOUR HEADS: A pastor’s unexpected prayer to open the Flagler County School Board meeting draws a debate over whether the district plans to resume the religious practice it ended more than four decades ago, Flagler Live reports.

DREAM JOB: A Charlotte County educator follows her grandfather into the school district’s principal ranks, the Charlotte Sun reports.

TEACHER SHORTAGE: A Sarasota County school for children with disabilities struggles to fill dozens of teacher and paraprofessional jobs, the Herald-Tribune reports.

UN-BANNED: A Miami-Dade County teen wins a court order allowing him back onto the high school playing fields after having been banned, CBS Miami reports.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: KIPP expands in Miami with a new charter middle school, the Miami Times reports.

MENTAL HEALTH: St. Johns County students seek more mental health services than in the past after the district revamps its offerings, the St. Augustine Record reports. • The number of Florida students treated under the Baker Act soars to record numbers, the Fort Myers News-Press reports.

TAXES: The Duval County School Board looks for a compromise on sharing future sales tax funds with charter schools in an effort to break a deadlock over its request for a referendum, WJXT reports.

PORTABLES: Palm Beach County parents want to know why their children remain in portable classrooms as the district builds new schools and renovates others, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

SCHOOL SHOTS: The Flagler County School Board hesitates to allow the Department of Heath to provide HPV vaccinations in schools, the Palm Coast Observer reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup

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  1. The Pinellas County school system is offering driver education camps to hundreds of students like this one over the summer. The program will be held over two sessions at nine high school campuses across the county.
  2. Incoming Superintendent Addison Davis (center) and School Board Chair Melissa Snively (right) sign Davis' contract with the Hillsborough County School District after it was unanimously approved by the school board on February 18, 2020.
  3. Incoming Hillsborough School Superintendent Addison Davis (center), School Board Chair Melissa Snively (right) and the other board members pose as Davis signs his contract with the district on Tuesday night. The board unanimously approved the contract beforehand.
  4. Jarvis Delon West was arrested on child neglect charges after he didn't report an employee at AMI Kids who slammed a boy to the ground, according to police.
  5. Associate professor of biology Caitlin Gille leads the Pasco-Hernando State College faculty union, which challenged the school's public comment rules.  (Photo Courtesy of Caitlin Gille)
  6. Prekindergarten students at James B. Sanderlin IB World School in St. Petersburg, show the peace sign during an assembly in 2012. New state data show children in prekindergarten are better prepared for kindergarten than those who don't attend.
  7. Leon County fifth-grader Ingrid Hanley asks the Senate Education Committee not to adopt legislation that would get tougher on D-rated schools, during a Feb. 17, 2020, session.
  8. Nadia King, 6, is smiles for a photo. The special-needs student was taken from school Feb. 4 and placed in a mental health facility under Florida's Baker Act, and now her mother and a team of attorneys are asking why.
  9. The Voluntary Prekindergarten room is one feature of the new Bardmoor Branch of the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg. The location also includes a child-care center and Preschool Academy.
  10. FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. School districts continue to improve their security plans in the aftermath. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)
  11. Clay County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis (wearing a pink tie), center, takes photos with the  Hillsborough County Public Schools board members after being voted unaminous as the new incoming superintendent in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
  12. University of Florida students walk through Turlington Plaza in between classes on Thursday afternoon, February 13, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla.
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