Tag: Jeff Eakins

A day to honor the Parkland victims, school closings threatened, Holocaust education and more

A day of remembrance: Friday was a day for remembering the 17 people killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, honoring them through civic activism, community service and a moment of silence, comforting their families, and marking the improvements made in school security and access to mental health services as ways to try to stop such events from happening again…

School closings: Falling student enrollment could push the Broward County School District into closing or combining about 30 schools in the next couple of years. Most of the exodus is happening in the southern part of the county. The district has 30,000 fewer students this year than it did 15 years ago, and chief financial officer Judith Marte predicts a drop of another 4,000 next fall…

Holocaust education: A bill requiring Florida schools and districts to educate K-12 students about the Holocaust was approved last week by the House Education Committee. The bill was prompted by a 2018 incident in Palm Beach County in which a high school principal told a parent that not everyone believes the Holocaust happened and that he couldn’t state that it was a factual event…

Polk teachers who march threatened with firing, bills on aid forms and parental rights and more

Marching teachers threatened: The top attorney for the Florida Department of Education says teachers who are taking today off to join the rally for education in Tallahassee could be fired for striking illegally. “A concerted failure to report for duty constitutes an illegal strike under Florida law,” Matthew Mears wrote Friday in an email sent only to Polk County Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd. Byrd said she asked the department for “guidance” and simply forwarded the email to employees to make them aware of the law, and “not as a threat from me to fire staff.” DOE officials had no comment,  but teachers and their union leaders said they took it as a veiled threat…

More education bills: Several bills were filed just before Friday’s deadline to be considered by the Legislature. Among them are one that would require all high school students to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form to graduate, another spelling out parental rights in their child’s education and health care, and one that would make temporary funding increases to 29 school districts permanent and require districts to share any future voter-approved tax hikes with charter schools…

Students and suicide: Florida’s youth suicide rate has increased by 50 percent in the past 10 years, an epidemic that school and other officials say is hidden in plain sight online. There are 632,000 Instagram posts with with the hashtag #lifesucks, and another 550,000-plus tagged with #hatemyself…