BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Teachers are reportedly leaving Brevard County Public Schools because of repeated student violence, due to what many staff memebers have called a lenient disciplinary policy.
The school board has been working to revise the code and make its policy stricter to prevent staff from exiting en masse over the holiday break, and offiicals plan to reveal more details about the new policy during a 5:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday.
What You Need To Know
- The Brevard County School Board will meet Tuesday and talk about a new proposed disciplinary policy
- It’s a topic garnering much attention, after reports of teachers being attacked by students
- Staff members say they want stricter consequences, while community activists hope a new policy can be fair to minority students
- RELATED coverage: Brevard school board weighing new discipline measures
District officials say 42 teachers have quit so far this year, plus eight bus drivers, citing disruptive incidents in the classroom that included staff being bitten, scratched and choked by students.
In previous Brevard County School Board meetings, community leaders and parents expressed concerns that punishment shouldn’t be too strict, and specialists voiced hopes that a new policy would include efforts to understand why kids misbehave.
Board chairman Matt Susin says this will go along with a new policy.
“To be honest with you, all of our students go home every day and it’s the parents that make the difference," he said. "We’re actually going to be working with the NAACP to bring some of their pastors into our schools, to walk the halls, to work with some of our staff, to say ‘Hey here’s what Johnny has working at home and his parents and this is what the life’s like.'"
The new proposed "zero tolerance" policy would also ban cellphones outside of bags while students are inside school buildings.
“So what we want, is we want our teachers and staff to feel secure and be able to deliver their message in their instruction," Susin said. "We want the students to be able to not be in fear of anything happening to them and be able to learn.
"Because right now, what we were running into, we had close to hundreds of teachers that were going to leave during Christmas break and we had to get the message out that we have your back."