During the March 22 Leon County School Board meeting, the Board heard an update from Sheriff Walt McNeil regarding the Council on the Status of Men and Boys. The Sheriff requested the LCSB consider contributing $70,000 to upstart the council.
Superintendent Rocky Hanna addressed the Board to recommend funding the efforts by Leon County Sheriff’s Office. Hanna said that this is not solely the city or county’s problem, but it is the community’s problem to tackle and that the LCSB has a role to play. He also thanked Sheriff McNeil for taking the lead concerning the issue.
The Board heard from public speakers during the meeting. One concerned citizen addressed the Board regarding the controversial House Bill 1557, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The speaker criticized the Board for using the politically charged nickname during a meeting. Subsequently, she and the following three speakers read the bill in its entirety. They stated they believe that the public needs to hear the bill’s content and not merely what is reported in the media, which in their opinion, is misconstrued. These remarks came after Superintendent Hanna called the bill by its nickname during a Monday evening discussion at the agenda review meeting.
The Board unanimously passed several amendments to LCS policies during the meeting. The amendments include:
- Revisions to training requirements for LCS staff regarding youth suicide awareness and prevention.
- A revision to the district’s School Safety and Security Plan.
- Policy updates to include the duties of a safe-school officer and their training requirements.
- A revision to the policy on Criminal Background and Employment History Checks will include reviewing documents concerning the individual’s separation from previous employers.
- Revisions to the Mandatory Reporting of Misconduct by Certified Employees policy include language stating the district must report the misconduct of all employees and parental notification.
The LCSB unanimously approved the contract with Rowe Drilling, a division of A.C. Schultes of Florida, Inc., for $89,500. The company will provide services for the Ft. Braden Water Tank Replacement Project.
A settlement was approved in a 5-0 vote between the LCSB and Jessica K for $60,000. The suit was filed against the LCSB by Jessica due to an incident involving her son, an ESE student. Jessica alleges that LCS staff was negligent as they removed her son from the bus causing injuries and trauma.
Board member DeeDee Rasmussen brought up concerns about students who may not graduate their senior year and the possibility of pulling the student out of school to help them obtain their GED but allowing them to walk for graduation. The Board and the superintendent agreed to explore the options concerning this matter and revisit it during a future meeting.