education

The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has renewed calls among many conservatives for heightening school security. But others say that approach misses the point, and risks undermining both the learning environment and trust between students and faculty by making schools feel like prisons.

The Florida House

The white Republican leaders of the Florida Legislature believe giving guns to school staff members will help protect students.

But black members in both houses warn it could endanger them — particularly children of color, who are often disciplined more harshly than their white peers in school.

Daniel Bock / Miami Herald

Guests for Sundial on Thursday, March 1: 

WLRN education reporter Jessica Bakeman joined us from Tallahassee for an update on budget talks and gun legislation from the state's capital. Bakeman also provided insight on the impact Miami-Dade County Public School's Superintendent Alberto Carvalho departure would have if he decided to take a job offered to him as chancellor of New York City public schools. (Carvalho declined the offer later that day.) 

The Florida Senate on Monday night passed a comprehensive gun control and school safety bill crafted in response to the Parkland shooting by the narrowist margin.

Before passing the bill 20-18, the Republican-led Senate scaled down the plan for allowing teachers to be armed. Under the new version, people who are “exclusively” classroom teachers would not be allowed to carry concealed firearms unless they’re in the military or law enforcement. Other staff would still qualify.

Matias Ocner / WLRN

The student survivors of the Parkland shooting might get a break from this year’s state exams.

The Florida Senate on Monday passed House Bill 7055, a controversial education bill that is a major priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, in a 20-17 vote. But first, the chamber amended the bill to include a little help for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students.

"There was a girl in my class who had on dirty clothes. The other kids laughed at her but I played with her during recess."

That's an everyday act of kindness toward a child who is being ostracized. It was reported by an elementary school student who took part in a new, nationally-representative survey of children ages 9 to 11. The purpose was to capture not only the bad, but also the good of how children treat each other, and even a little bit of the why.

Here are some of the key findings:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sophomore Annabel Claprood and her mom, Elyse, arrived at the Florida Capitol on a recent morning with a schedule, a map and a mission.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Last year, a school resource officer at a Key West middle school investigated several incidents involving guns.

Now the Key West Police Department is taking action, based on an internal investigation.

Police Chief Donie Lee has proposed firing Officer David Hall. The officer has requested a pre-determination hearing, which has not been scheduled. He is currently suspended with pay.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The first Broward Sheriff's deputies who arrived at Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 were told not to confront the gunman. 

 

According to a dispatch log reviewed by the Miami Herald, the sheriff’s captain who was first in charge of the scene told officers to set up around the building. The Broward Sheriff's Office neither confirmed nor denied that the order was given.

Hackers, beware - the Florida Center for Cybersecurity has unveiled a service to help state universities teach students how to prevent cyber-attacks.

The resource is called the Florida CyberHub and includes a “Cybertown,” in which users monitor a simulated city’s virtual ecosystem and defend the different facilities against cyber-attacks. The CyberHub is designed to mimic a realistic cybersecurity experience.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned Thursday for their second day of classes since the shooting on Feb. 14 that killed 17.

This time around they were not greeted with the same fanfare as Wednesday, when crowds of supporters, police officers and even therapy dogs lined the perimeter of the school to welcome them back for the first time in two weeks.

Instead, students entered the building chatting with friends or listening to music on their earbuds -- things one might see on any ordinary school day, though things in Parkland are still far from ordinary.

C.M. Guerrero / Miami Herald

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has turned down a job as head of New York City schools.

Matias Ocner / WLRN News

A heavy police presence and a steady stream of well-wishers — some with two legs and some with four — were on hand Wednesday morning as students returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High for the first day of classes since the school shooting two weeks ago that killed 17 people and injured 15 others.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

About 40 Parkland moms — and at least one dad and one kid — had a long, grueling day at the Capitol in Tallahassee on Tuesday. They waited for hours to speak to committees, struggled to understand last-minute amendments added to bills and strategized in the hallways between meetings with the governor and members of the Legislature.

The trip followed a higher profile one the week before from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students after the Feb. 14 shooting there that left 17 dead and more than a dozen others injured.

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