No metal detectors: Plans to put metal detectors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when school resumes Aug. 15 have been put on hold. “As we continue our due diligence to implement the program — consulting with vendors and experts and reviewing turnkey solutions — many issues have been raised that require the District to pause and have a more thoughtful discussion on policy and procedural aspects of this pilot,” Superintendent Robert Runcie wrote in an email to parents. District officials are still trying to work through the details on the kind of equipment needed, how to staff the detectors, how to get 3,300 students through the metal detectors in a timely fashion and maintaining student privacy. Parents had heard rumors that the use of detectors was being suspended, and quickly mounted an email campaign to Runcie with the message: “Time is of the essence. Please do it now.” Seventeen people, including 14 students, were shot to death at the school on Feb. 14. Sun-Sentinel. Miami Herald. Associated Press.
School shooting developments: A consultant’s report concludes that the Broward County School District stripped accused Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz of the therapeutic services provided for special-needs students, then did not follow through when Cruz asked to return to the program. Because of those mistakes, the report says, Cruz had no counseling or special education services for the 14 months before the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. On Friday, a judge ordered the report released with redactions to protect Cruz’s privacy rights, but the blacked-out portion of the report became visible when copied and pasted into another computer document. Sun-Sentinel. WPLG. New York Times. Capt. Jan Jordan, the Broward sheriff’s district commander who was in charge of the office’s response to the Parkland shootings, has been replaced by Capt. Chris Mulligan. Jordan was transferred to the sheriff’s administration team in June. Parkland city officials had asked that she be replaced. Sun-Sentinel.
Tax vote scuttled: Brevard County School Board members don’t think voters will approve a property tax increase to pay for school security and employee pay raises, so they’ve decided not to ask. They say there’s not enough time to educate voters, and they worry that putting the referendum on the ballot will jeopardize the renewal of the half-cent sales tax surcharge. So now the board will be looking at layoffs and cutting expenses and programs. Pennie Zuercher, the district’s chief financial officer, estimated the budget deficit will be about $5.3 million. Florida Today.
FSA test results: More reports on how school districts around the state, and some struggling schools in particular, did in the Florida Standards Assessments testing for reading and math for grades 3-12, science for 5th- and 8th-graders and end-of-course exams in biology, civics and U.S. history. Testing results are part of the formula used to assign grades to individual schools and districts. Miami Herald. Florida Times-Union. WUSF. Tampa Bay Times. Orlando Sentinel. WJCT. WSNN. Bradenton Herald. Bradenton Times. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Island Reporter. WBBH. Naples Daily News. Flagler Live. Ocala Star-Banner. Northwest Florida Daily News. Vero News. WJHG. Lakeland Ledger. Charlotte Sun. Walton Sun. Highlands News-Sun. Marco Eagle. Daytona Beach News-Journal. Panama City News Herald. WLRN. Bridge to Tomorrow. WMBB.
School security: Miami-Dade school officials are asking city and county officials for help in putting school resource officers in schools that do not already have officers. The district has its own police force, and its officers cover all middle and high schools. But that leaves about 240 schools uncovered. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho plans to use $4 million from the state to hire 40 to 50 officers for the district force, and is offering $4 million to be distributed among the county and 34 municipalities. WLRN. WFOR. Jupiter Police Chief Frank J. Kitzerow Jr. is chosen to become police chief of the Palm Beach County School District. Kitzerow, 61, has been chief in Jupiter since 2004. The school board is expected to approve the appointment at its Wednesday meeting. Palm Beach Post. Sun-Sentinel. The St. Johns County School Board authorizes Superintendent Tim Forson to negotiate and contract with law enforcement agencies to provide armed security at any district school not already covered by deputies from the sheriff’s office. St. Augustine Record. The Palm Beach and Martin county school districts have bought workplace violence insurance in case any of their schools are attacked by anyone with a weapon. WPTV.