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What would help Florida teachers deal with misbehaving students? | Editorial
We’d like to hear your ideas.
How do we get more kids ready to learn when they arrive at school?
How do we get more kids ready to learn when they arrive at school?
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published Aug. 10

Teachers need help. They need more students to show up at school ready to learn. But too often, they are forced to play traffic cop or security officer. They have to focus on kids acting out, acting up or worse. All the while, the rest of the class isn’t learning, or at least isn’t learning as much as it should. That doesn’t do anyone any good.

Pasco County superintendent Kurt Browning set the right tone last week when he said that kids need to know how to behave when they come to school, and many of those lessons start at home. Pasco has warned parents that students who break the rules could face increased penalties. The warnings come as the county — like many others — has seen a spike in disciplinary cases, some blamed on the relaxed approach to discipline adopted as students returned after being away due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever the causes, many teachers have cited student misbehavior as reason for retiring early or leaving for another career.

Student misbehavior — and the best way to address it — is complicated. We can’t just expel every student that has a bad day. It’s easy to say that parents need to take more responsibility, but what if they don’t? This editorial board doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to the best way to ensure students show up ready to behave so they can learn — and teachers can do what they do best, teach.

So what do you think is the answer to the uptick in student misbehavior? We’d love to hear your views, especially if you are a teacher or have experience teaching K-12 classes. Are there things that have worked in your classroom that you’d like to share? Please send us your ideas or comments by going to www.tampabay.com/opinion/submit-letter/ or email them to editorial@tampabay.com. Use “Student behavior” in the title or email heading.

Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, Sherri Day, Sebastian Dortch, John Hill, Jim Verhulst and Chairman and CEO Conan Gallaty. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.

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