Middle school suicide: For the first time, suicide is claiming more U.S. middle school student lives than car crashes, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, 425 students between the ages of 10 and 14 killed themselves. The rate doubled in the years between 2007 and 2014. WUSF.
Dropout prevention: Intensive tracking of student progress is fueling a rapid rise in the graduation rate at Homestead Senior High School. In the 2010-2011 school year, 54.2 percent of seniors graduated. In 2014-2015 the rate was up to 68.4 percent, and school officials think they’ll hit 72 percent this year. Frequent use of data is helping to identify students in trouble, and prompts the dropout prevention team into quick intervention. Miami Herald.
Dress code: A 16-year-old Ridgewood High School student who has had cancer twice was told last week that the cancer survivor t-shirt he wore to school violates the dress code. The code forbids wearing a shirt with a logo that takes up more than a quarter of the design. Tim Powers says he’s disturbed the school wouldn’t let his son Tyler wear the shirt. Daily Mail.
Bathroom rights: A lawsuit challenging the Duval County School District’s policy allowing students to use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity has been dismissed. A lawyer for the challengers says the suit may be refiled, pending the results of other similar cases. Florida Times-Union.
Cutting costs: About 225 Hillsborough County support teachers and perhaps administrators are being assigned to classrooms as part of the district’s cost-cutting plan. General fund reserves have dropped by more than $200 million since 2011. Tampa Bay Times.