Spectrum News 13 | By Ashleigh Mills | December 8, 2022
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A proposed stricter new disciplinary policy is up for discussion and public comment in a meeting on Thursday morning. Law enforcement and Brevard Public Schools staff say students have bitten, choked and scratched teachers.
What You Need To Know
- Brevard Public Schools is proposing a new, stricter discipline policy
- Teachers claim disruptive students are biting, scratching and choking staff without strict consequences
- The sheriff wants the punishments for crimes in schools to mirror those outside schools, but other community leaders and civil rights activists want to ensure the policy isn’t overly strict and unfair to minorities
- A public meeting is set for 9 a.m. Thursday in Rockledge
However, they contend there are no proper consequences to help teachers regain control of the classroom; instead, union staff claim disruptions continue without the right recourse for disruptors.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey stood outside the county jail and announced his desire to treat criminal acts inside schools the same way those outside are handled: through the county’s criminal justice system.
“If you’re a little snot that’s coming to our classes to be disruptive, you might want to find someplace else to go to school because we’re going to be your worst nightmare starting right now,” Ivey said.
District leaders claim teachers have little control over their classrooms and disruptive students when the students return without being punished for devious behavior. Others argue that a new disciplinary policy should be fair to all students. Community leader Samantha Nazario voiced concerns after seeing Ivey’s message from the jail.
“We don’t sit well with a message coming from the front of a prison,” she expressed.
Data from the school district appears to show minorities are disproportionately being disciplined. It shows that minorities make up 27% of the student population but are about half those punished. The district’s equity and diversity department has been involved in the discipline discussion and has been meeting with the community about it.
Others attended previous school district meetings on the matter to talk about why kids may be acting out. Parent Kristin McBenton believes this should be taken into consideration.
“You’re scared, you didn’t eat breakfast, you’re hangry. You know something is going on so and so I think you know having the research backed methods to figuring out the why behind student behaviors is a huge piece of the puzzle for discipline,” McBenton said.
The meeting is set for 9 a.m. Thursday at the Behavior Services facility. There’s a set public comment period included.