Florida schools roundup: Anthem warning, retirement, spending and more

florida-roundup-logoAnthem warning: The principal of Lely High School in Naples is threatening to eject students at all school-sponsored sporting events if they don’t stand for the national anthem. In a video announcement last week, Ryan Nemeth said: “You will stand, and you will stay quiet. If you don’t, you are going to be sent home, and you’re not going to have a refund of your ticket price.” Thursday, Collier County school officials said Nemeth’s remarks were taken out of a context, and that he regrets what he said. WBBH. WINK. Naples Daily News. In Orange County, school officials say students need a parent’s permission to kneel during the anthem. WDBO.

Director retiring: A day after a state audit is critical of the Leon County School District construction projects, the chief of construction announces he is retiring. Jim Connell’s last day is Sept. 30. Tallahassee Democrat.

School spending: The Duval County School Board delays a vote on the budget until Monday. Discrepancies on salaries and the revenue to cover them cause the postponement. Florida Times-Union.

Makeup days: Pinellas County students won’t have to make up the days lost to Hurricane Hermine. District officials have decided there’s enough time built into the schedule for schools to absorb the loss of two days. Gradebook.

Code of conduct: The Code of Student Conduct for the Highlands County School District includes reminders of offenses that must be reported to law enforcement. Highlands Today.

Gay alliance case in court: A federal appeals court hears oral arguments in an appeal of a ruling that the Lake County School District could ban a gay-straight alliance at Carver Middle School. The case hinges on the definition of a secondary school. Daily Commercial.

Quiet meeting: The first Clay County School Board meeting since the election is uncharacteristically quiet. It was the first meeting since Superintendent Charlie Van Sant Jr. and board supporter Johnna McKinnon lost in the Aug. 30 election primary. Florida Times-Union.

Head wraps protest: Female African-American students at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg win the right to wear traditional African head wraps. The protest started in August when a girl was asked to remove her head wrap, saying it violated district policy. Girls protested by wearing the wraps the following Wednesday. The school principal relented, and many students continue to wear the wraps every Wednesday. Observers.

Traffic jams: Parents at two Pembroke Pines schools are complaining about traffic jams. Traffic has always backed up at the dropoff for K-12 Somerset Academy and West Broward High School. But a schedule change has worsened the problem. Sun-Sentinel.

School bus problems: Accidents involving school buses are down about 17 percent in Palm Beach County. District officials credit advances in technology and training. Palm Beach Post. A substitute school bus driver runs a red light and causes a crash in St. Lucie County. No one was injured. TCPalm. Several students face disciplinary action after beating another student on a Zarephath Christian Academy school bus this week. WJAX.

Superintendent’s goals: Brevard School Superintendent Desmond Blackburn talks about his plan for capital funding at a community meeting. Florida Today.

A principal’s goal: A Miami-Dade principal who lost both legs in April when a drunk driver struck him says he plans to walk through the doors at South Dade High School when he returns. Javier Perez, 43. is still a couple of months away from returning. Miami Herald.

Opinions on schools: Why does arts education matter? Because studies show that the arts increase students’ overall motivation to learn and foster creativity and innovation. Neil Levine, Florida Today. A young, curvaceous teaching assistant in Atlanta posted photos of herself on Instagram, and the Internet flipped out. What do we make of that? Leslie Gray Streeter, Palm Beach Post. Everybody wants great schools, but nobody wants to pay for them. Citrus County Chronicle.

Student enrichment: The Seminole County School District wins a $1 million grant from the XQ Institute. It won for its proposal to establish a high school where students solve business problems to generate revenue for the school. Orlando Sentinel. Education Week. The black fraternity Gamma Xi is offering paid internships for five select Booker High School students. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Six Polk County high school students take part in a symposium to discuss the importance of art in education. Lakeland Ledger. The Fort Myers High School band, choir and symphony orchestra are invited to play in a New Year’s Day parade in London. Fort Myers News-Press. Eight Marion County students are named National Merit Scholar semifinalists. Ocala Star Banner.