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Parkland survivors sue over PTSD
Eight survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre are suing the Broward County School District and the Broward Sheriff’s Office - claiming that they suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the attack. They allege that the school district nor law enforcement did enough to protect the campus, deal with confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz prior to the shooting or confront him during the attack. Attorney Pat Lawlor, representing the students and their families, said: “They have a duty to protect (students, teachers and staff) in all aspects and they failed miserably.”
Schools underreporting restraint and seclusion data
Public schools have significantly underreported their use of restraint and seclusion to control students’ behavior, according to the federal Government Accountability Office, which has highlighted reporting errors in New York City, Philadelphia and other districts, who entered zeros in the Education Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection for 2015-16 when they should have indicated the data was actually "unavailable". Seven out of 10 - of more than 17,000 U.S. districts - reported zero incidents of students being physically restrained or isolated in a separate area, the GAO said.
Sarasota schools given huge mandate to crack down on cellphones
The Sarasota County School Board has agreed that cellphones will be “silenced, put away and not used” during school hours - unless teachers in middle school or high school wish to use them for approved instructional purposes. The issue, which has spurred significant public interest, was first raised last year by board member Bridget Ziegler and Chairwoman Jane Goodwin, and Denise Cantalupo, the district’s executive director of the Office of Accountability and Choice, revealed that the proposal was possibly the most popular survey the district has ever administered.
Sarasota Herald Tribune
Egnor to lead Volusia County
The Volusia County School Board has named Tim Egnor as the new interim superintendent. Egnor is a former deputy superintendent in St. John’s County and a former Volusia County principal, and he beat out both retired Volusia County Deputy Superintendent Tim Hutch and former Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart - who withdrew her name from consideration on Tuesday.
Broward won’t limit requests to fire Runcie
The Broward County School Board has rubbished a proposal that would have made it harder to fire superintendent Robert Runcie. The idea, drafted by district staff, would have placed restrictions on all requests made directly by School Board members instead of the superintendent.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Leon County Schools reveals raft of new staff
Leon County Schools named a wealth of new principals and faculty members - Jason Koerner as principal of Conley Elementary, Rusty Edwards as principal of Fairview Middle, April Knight as Principal of Riley Elementary and Scott Hanson to lead the district's Student Activities Office.
Graduating class earns tens of millions
The 2019 graduating class of the Lee County School District earned more than $64m in scholarships - $10m more than the class of 2018. "We are proud of this class. They worked hard and it shows," district spokesperson Rob Spicker said.
Fort Myers Beach Talk
Polk County charter engages lawyers to settle dispute
The Lake Wales Charter Schools District Board has agreed to pursue legal action against the Polk County School Board over who will pay for any additional buildings at Lake Wales High and student academic information being given to the charter district for students looking to enroll in an International Baccalaureate program.
Sarasota schools boss on administrative leave
The Sarasota County School District has announced that Chief Operating Officer Jeff Maultsby has been placed on paid administrative leave over allegations made against him earlier in the Spring. Executive Director of Facilities, Planning and Construction, Jody Dumas will serve as the acting COO until an investigation is completed.
My Sun Coast
SOCIAL & COMMUNITY
Kids ride-sharing services on the rise
Transportation giant National Express, which serves about 600 school districts across 30 states, has led a funding round in kids’ ride sharing service Kango - which has raised $3.6m for expansion. Hinting at the shape of things to come, the announcement follows the recent $40 million secured by another child ride-sharing service, Zum, and underlines growing investor appetite for services that shuttle kids around.
People believe in ‘teachers-turned-lawmakers'
Education Week profiles several teachers-turned-lawmakers as they finish their first few months in office - to determine their transition from "the schoolhouse to the statehouse." Last year, at least 43 teachers were elected in nearly two-dozen states, and lawmakers featured here underline similarities between the two roles - Oklahoma state Sen. David Bullard, a Republican who taught high school history in Texas, says: "Relationship building in the legislature is a lot like teaching. Everything is built on relationships up there." Maryland state Del. Harry Bhandari, a Democrat who teaches high school English, who has already introduced legislation requiring the state education department to lend hearing aids and other language resources to parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, reveals of attitudes to his new role: "People like a more authentic voice. I've been teaching for years. People believe in you."