Brevard Public Schools continues student discipline discussion

Workshop focuses on cell phone policy, students recording fighting

VIERA, Fla. – As Brevard County school board members continued debating the district’s student discipline policies, interim Superintendent Dr. Robert Schiller reported so far this year, there have been more than 200 major misuses of electronic devices resulting in 66 suspensions.

Board member Jennifer Jenkins pointed out that’s a small percentage of all referrals in schools, and teachers can deny the use of phones in class under the policy as it stands now, but board member Megan Wright argued she’d like phones to be put away as soon as students step on campus.

Despite Dr. Schiller’s statistics, Wright said the district is not following the current policy and teachers are telling her reporting students for using their phones during instruction isn’t worth the referral.

“So, while Ms. Jenkins brings up that it’s only 3% of our students, I would beg to differ that it’s actually significantly higher. They’re just not willing to take on that battle,” Wright said.

Tuesday afternoon, the board also discussed students recording incidents like fighting and sharing those videos to social media.

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Jenkins encouraged students to record to help administrators see what happened, but to keep it off the Internet and away from other students.

“Sometimes it actually benefits our staff to see what’s going on, but there will be consequences, and there already are, if they’re going to disseminate it to one another to intimidate, harass, or bully one another,” she said.

According to its policy, any proposed revisions would go before a public hearing and ultimately, would need to be approved at a later school board meeting.

Those dates are yet to be determined.

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.