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In Florida, Your Kid’s Chance of Arrest at School Depends on Where You Live

After a student was caught cutting class at Seminole High School’s ninth grade center in April 2019, a trio of Sanford police officers told the girl to get in a golf cart so she could be taken back to campus. She refused. “I’m…
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A 6-Year-Old Had Her Hands Zip-Tied at School. Florida House Passes on Setting a Minimum Age for Arresting Kids

Florida likely won’t be setting a minimum age for arresting children, despite national outrage over a 6-year-old who had her hands zip-tied at school after she threw a temper tantrum. The Florida House took up the issue…
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Legislation Limiting Restraint and Forbidding Seclusion in Schools Heads to Final Committee Stop

Lawmakers appear closer than ever to passing legislation ending restraining and secluding children with special needs at school. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education approved the bill (SB 1644), sponsored by Sen. Lauren Book,…
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Lawmakers Could Give a Second Chance to More Juvenile Offenders

Bills that would provide more Florida kids with a second chance is primed for a floor vote in both chambers. SB 700, by Republican Sen. Keith Perry, and HB 615 by Democratic Rep. Clovis Watson,would change the way the state expunges juvenile…
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Jennifer Webb Files Legislation to Curb ‘Unnecessary’ Baker Acts in Florida Schools

Rep. JenniferWebb is responding to recent reports of children being sometimes unnecessarily removed from school under Florida’s Baker Act over incidents school officials or law enforcement officers deem unsafe to the student or others. Webb’s…
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Florida’s Flawed Baker Act Rips Thousands of Kids from School

Over the past seven years, children have been taken from public schools in Tampa Bay more than 7,500 times and temporarily placed in mental health facilities. They often leave campus handcuffed in the back of police cruisers. Some are as…
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Child Baker Act Cases Continue to Climb in Florida

Florida has once again broken the records for the number of people mentally evaluated, involuntarily, under the state’s Baker Act. In May, investigative reporter Karla Ray first exposed that child Baker Act cases have more than doubled…
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This Week in the Florida Legislature, January 7-11

This week, the House Criminal Justice Committee held their inaugural meetings for the 2018 Legislative Session. The meeting began with a presentation on juvenile civil citation and direct file by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ),…

Central Florida Charter Schools Struggle to Pay for On-Campus Officers Required by New Law

Two Winter Garden charter schools planned to buy new computers this year, giving every student on their shared campus one to use. But when Crystal Yoakum, the CEO of the two affiliated schools, got a look at the numbers, she knew that dream…
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Florida Law Requiring Students to Inform School Districts on Mental Health History is Problematic - The Orlando Sentinel

Has student ever been referred to mental health services? This is quite possibly the most loaded question any parent has been forced to answer on a school registration form. It’s also the most loaded question school districts have been…
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Florida Legislators Pass Bill to Allow Surprise Inspections of Juvenile Lock-Ups - The Miami Herald

Last week, the Florida Legislature sent CS/HB 361: Persons Authorized to Visit Juvenile Justice Facilities to Governor Rick Scott for approval.  To increase executive, legislative, and judicial oversight, CS/HB 361 authorizes the Governor…
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Tell Governor Scott to Sign CS/HB 361: Persons Authorized to Visit Juvenile Facilities

Take Action! Tell Gov. Scott to sign CS/HB 361! Yesterday, the Florida Legislature sent CS/HB 361: Persons Authorized to Visit Juvenile Justice Facilities to Governor Rick Scott for approval. In the wake of The Miami Herald‘s Fight…