Medical marijuana: Many Florida school districts are defying the state law that allows students to use prescribed medical marijuana at schools. State law requires all school districts to have a written policy governing medical marijuana. But that same law exempts schools from accommodating on-campus use of medical marijuana. So some districts are choosing to follow federal laws that still classify marijuana use of any kind illegal. “The voters approved keeping it away from schools and prisons,” says Mitchell Teitelbaum, attorney for the Manatee County School District. “But the Legislature amended it to allow students to use it. What we need is the state Legislature to provide clarity on what is allowed.” USA Today.
School security and more: As more schools open today and this week, districts continue to pull together their security plans, try to fill open teaching positions and refine their objectives for the year. Sun-Sentinel. Miami Herald. Palm Beach Post. Orlando Sentinel. Daily Commercial. Daytona Beach News-Journal. Key West Citizen. Citrus County Chronicle. Palm Beach Post. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Ocala Star-Banner. WFLA. WTSP. Leon County teachers talk about inspiration and offer advice to new teachers. Tallahassee Democrat.
Mental health services: School districts are getting millions of dollars from the state to offer students more mental health services. And while there are questions about student privacy, since they are required to disclose previous mental health issues, experts expect the benefits of the new initiative to be substantial and long-lasting. “It’s fantastic,” says Candice Crawford, president and CEO of the Mental Health Association of Central Florida. “A lot of these children, and especially at-risk kids, tend to end up in the juvenile justice system without ever having been evaluated for mental health issues or given any services. And then people just write them off as bad. The long-term impact of this is going to be remarkable.” Orlando Sentinel. Palm Beach Post.