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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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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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Florida Man Sues After School Resource Officer Taunts Autistic Son

Evan Dowdey was 13 years old and had the cognitive ability of a first-grade student when he threw a book at a teacher in 2017. School resource officer Ural Darling reportedly told Evan that he would be confined to a mental…
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Orange Cops Relying More on Citations, Not Arrests, for Juveniles — But Still Lag Other Urban Counties, Report Finds

Police and deputies in Orange County are giving teenagers in trouble more civil citations instead of arresting them for misdemeanors, but other urban counties in Florida still give citations instead of arresting minors in a far higher share…
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Sheriff Gualtieri Supports Armed Teachers to Stop School Shooters

The sheriff leading the state commission investigating Florida's high school massacre says he now believes trained, volunteer teachers should have access to guns so they can stop shooters who get past other safeguards. Pinellas County Sheriff…
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Commentary: Nurses in Schools Make Good - The Orlando Sentinel

The Tampa Bay Times wrote an editorial about a year ago saying that Pinellas County was smart to invest in more school nurses. This is a timely issue for Orange County too. It is now the ninth-largest U.S. school district, exploding with growth.…
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Study: New Rule Should Mean More Florida Kids in Diversion Programs - The Tampa Bay Times

The Caruthers Institute release its newest study on the use of juvenile civil citations in Florida. Key findings include: Utilization continues to increase but more slowly than in previous years. Counties that saw substantial increased…
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Prosecutors Aren’t Seeking Adult Charges Against Kids Nearly as Often in Florida or Jacksonville - The Florida Times-Union

According to statistics from the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), Florida saw a significant decline in the number of children prosecuted as adults, especially in Jacksonville and Gainesville. Read more.   Photo by Mitchel L…
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Pinellas County Schools Try 'Restorative' Approach to Deal with Racial Disparities - The Tampa Bay Times

After a 2015 investigation finding that African-American students in Pinellas County were significantly more likely to be suspended, the county began implementing a restorative justice approach to school discipline. Read more.
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DJJ Proposes Stronger Consequences for Teens Who Steal Cars - The Tampa Bay Times

In response to an "epidemic" of grand theft auto committed by juveniles, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has proposed sweeping changes that would enforce stronger sentences. Read more.
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How State Leaders Are Trying to Fix the Juvenile Car Theft Problem in Pinellas - The Tampa Bay Times

For the first time in years, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will convene a committee to reevaluate its Detention Risk Assessment Instrument. In addition, State Senator Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) has proposed a bill that would…
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Deadline Approaching for Juvenile Justice Citizens Academy in Pinellas County

The deadline to apply for Pinellas County's Juvenile Justice Citizens Academy is quickly approaching. Next Session: begins March 2 – May 18, 2017 All session are held on: Thursdays, 6 - 9 p.m. at various locations throughout Pinellas…