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Florida education news: YouTubers, tank tops, bats and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
The DeLucio family of Trinity toured the Mitchell High School campus and showed the visit on their YouTube channel, which has more than 1 million subscribers. Many parents, students and school officials were not amused. [YouTube]
Published Aug. 29

YOUTUBERS ON CAMPUS: A family whose YouTube channels attract more than a million subscribers makes videos inside two Pasco County schools, raising the hackles of some parents, students and others who worry their safety is compromised. School district officials plan to take steps to ensure such activities don’t occur again.

NOT A JOKE: Hillsborough County school district and law enforcement leaders warn students that hoax school threats still carry heavy consequences.

PLANNING: Hillsborough County school district, county and city officials meet together to discuss how joint development planning can help improve school safety and infrastructure concerns.

GETTING THERE: The Hillsborough County school district calls on state lawmakers to revise the law governing hazardous walking conditions to schools, saying the current rule is outdated and not in the best interest of students, WFTS reports.

DRESS CODE: A Nassau County family pushes back after the local elementary school tells their 9-year-old daughter to cover up because her tank top was distracting boys, Yahoo reports.

HURRICANE SEASON: School districts on Florida’s Atlantic coast prepare for Hurricane Dorian, TC Palm reports.

TEACHER DISCIPLINE: A state hearing looks into whether a Manatee County teacher should lose his certification amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a student, the Bradenton Herald reports.

TAX BATTLE: The Duval County School Board hires outside legal counsel to help it fight the City Council’s refusal to place a district sales tax referendum before voters, the Florida Times-Union reports. The city’s attorney, who advises all aspects of the unified charter government, says the district is out of line with its action. • The Clay County School Board decides to wait until 2020 for its sales tax referendum, Clay Today reports.

SECURITY: The Palm Beach County School Board votes to sue the private company it hired to train school security guards, after reports that the firm’s training was not effective, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Company officials say the district is to blame for its failures, the Palm Beach Post reports.

DATA BREACH: Marion County students were affected by a major data breach of testing company Pearson’s systems, the Arizona Education News Service reports.

GROWTH: The Walton County school district sees a record number of students — just over 10,000, the DeFuniak Herald reports. • Palm Beach County schools see enrollment approach 197,000, with the most crowded campuses experiencing some of the biggest gains, the Palm Beach Post reports.

BATS IN THE BELFRY: Bats roosting at the top of a Marion County school’s administration building prompt the relocation of students and staff, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

ALL APOLOGIES: Marion County School Board members apologize for the way several employees were treated as they were forcibly transferred out of their school, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

LIABILITY: The Florida Supreme Court will decide how much the Broward County school district is liable to pay over the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting, the News Service of Florida reports.

NEW SCHOOLS: The Santa Rosa County school district prepares to construct its first new school in a decade, after five years of planning, the Pensacola News Journal reports.

ICYMI: Yesterday’s Florida education news roundup


  1. Sandra Gero, a regional search associate at Ray and Associates, hosts a meeting at the Middleton High School auditorium and gathers public comments on what people are looking for for the next Hillsborough County School Superintendent on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 in Tampa. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Using public meetings and a survey, they’re painting a picture of the ideal school leader.
  2. Jeff Eakins and MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough's last two superintendents, were hired from inside the school system. So have all others since 1967. Times staff
    Go to the school district website before 8 a.m. Monday to state your case.
  3. Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, urges the Florida Board of Education to hold schools accountable for teaching the Holocaust and African-American history, as required by lawmakers in 1994. The board was considering a rule on the matter at its Sept. 20, 2019, meeting in Jacksonville. The Florida Channel
    School districts will have to report how they are providing the instruction required in Florida law.
  4. The Pasco County school district would rezone the Seven Oaks subdivision from the Wiregrass Ranch High feeder pattern to the Cypress Creek High feeder pattern, beginning in the 2020-21 school year. Pasco County school district
    The Seven Oaks subdivision is the primary target for rezoning.
  5. Fortify Florida is a new app that allows for anonymous reporting of suspected school threats. Florida Department of Education
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  6. Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning says Fortify Florida, the new state-sponsored app that allows students to report potential threats, is "disrupting the education day" because the callers are anonymous, many of the tips are vague and there's no opportunity to get more information from tipsters. "I have an obligation to provide kids with a great education," Browning said. "I cannot do it with this tool, because kids are hiding behind Fortify Florida." JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |
    Vague and anonymous tips often waste law enforcement’s time and disrupt the school day, says Kurt Browning, president of Florida’s superintendents association.
  7. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, during a Feb. 7, 2019, meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    ‘One test should not determine the rest of your life,’ Rep. Susan Valdes says.
  8. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. The Florida Channel
    School security and early learning get top billing in the first committee meetings of the looming 2020 session.
  9. This image from a Pinellas County Schools video shows an armed police officer running to respond to a fictional active shooter.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco discuss salary and benefits during negotiations on Sept. 18, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff Writer
    The proposal is short on details, with officials saying they want to work through specifics during negotiations.