Brevard County School Board discusses more changes to student discipline policy

One board member says changes are ‘going to take time’

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard County School Board held a work session Tuesday to discuss further changes that should be addressed in the district’s disciplinary policy.

The meeting came after school leaders began the year by implementing a zero-tolerance policy, which includes measures that enforce cellphone restrictions and consequences for violence toward staff.

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School Board Chair Matt Susin began the work session by addressing interim Superintendent Dr. Robert Schiller.

“Basically, our staff followed our discipline policies and our administrative procedures that were passed by the board, and you feel that if there’s any discrepancies, you’d like us to bring it forward and bring those up today,” Susin said.

Tuesday’s meeting was the latest after Susin said dozens of teachers and bus drivers quit over bad behavior from students.

Board member Jennifer Jenkins took issue with a November video from Sheriff Wayne Ivey, who called out the failure of the district’s discipline policy.

“I feel like in the past two months we’ve participated in a circus,” Jenkins said. “I feel like we’ve done damage to this district.”

In December, district officials announced changes that included the creation of a discipline committee and enforcement of a policy that restricts student cellphone use.

“The cellphone policy as a whole, I’ve read it multiple times,” Vice Chair Megan Wright said. “It’s good. It’s solid, if it’s followed.”

A focus during the Tuesday morning session was making sure polices were being implemented across the district. Talks also began about what further action should be taken for the next school year.

“This is going to take time. We’ll be here a year from now with progress, but yet much work still needing to be done,” board member Gene Trent said.

Schiller said he would like to see policies and administrative procedures in line for when the board chooses the next superintendent around the end of this school year.

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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.