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Fort Lauderdale Education Law Blog

When perfection becomes a hindrance for students

There are some students who strive to be "perfect." They want perfect attendance, a perfect score on a test or a perfect academic experience to put into a college application. While some people admire young students for this type of determination, there are some students for whom perfectionism is a hindrance to their learning.

In fact, as this article describes, students with learning disabilities like attentive deficient and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also struggle with being a perfectionist. These conditions can create considerable challenges that warrant special accommodations.

The legal ramifications of trying to do the right thing

Parents and educators know how difficult it can be to teach children to make smart, good decisions in their lives. But because this is one of the most important lessons children can learn, most people go to great lengths to set a good example and strive to send the message that doing the right thing -- even when it's difficult -- can be best for everyone.

Unfortunately, there are far too many examples of people wrongfully penalized or persecuted for trying to live up to this expectation. And when these people include teachers and educators, it can be particularly upsetting.

Local school closing gap between black and white suspension rates

The most recent report of discipline data by the Florida Department of Education found black students in the state are suspended six percent more than white students. In the Hernando County School District, the report showed schools suspended black students almost 15 percent more.

After receiving the statistics, Hernando schools have been making serious efforts to close the gap.

Background checks come into question after problematic hiring

Recent reports indicate that Florida is currently experiencing a shortage on teachers. Schools all over the state have potentially thousands of open positions for aspiring instructors to begin their careers in front of the classroom. These hirings could prove crucial in improving the state’s educational scores and result in more successful younger individuals.

However, the vast amount of openings should not convince districts to take shortcuts on their hiring process. While the state does have a number of set laws in place to make the recruitment process fair and safe, each district still has their own hiring procedures. Unfortunately, recent stories have put some of those procedures into question, as one county came under scrutiny for unintentionally hiring a man with a substantiated child sex abuse claim as a teacher.

Chronic absenteeism has devastating effects on students

Chronic absenteeism is one of the most important and underdiscussed issues in education. However, it can have a devastating impact on a child’s future.

States typically define chronic absenteeism as missing 18 days of school. According to the United States Department of Education, nearly 8 million students are chronically absent from schools each year in the United States.

What accommodations are available for ADHD students?

School can be extremely difficult for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, they are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11 percent of children ages 4 to 17 years old in the United States have ADHD.

Children with ADHD can experience troubles succeeding academically, and many will qualify for an individualized education plan (IEP). An IEP team will help arrange any accommodations your student might need and ensure your child is set up to achieve success in school.

Student athlete files suit to challenge suspension

We often discuss the numerous challenges students face in the classroom when it comes to complying with school policies. These policies are not always administered fairly or consistently, and there can be differences in how people interpret them. 

However, these issues don't stop once a student leaves the classroom. As one recent case in another state should remind readers here in Florida, student athletes can face similar obstacles in their chosen sport.

What do schools do about cheating?

Like it or not, there are students who cheat in school. And ever since the first student peeked at another student's test answers, kids will find a way to cheat. Today's cheating methods may be far more advanced than ever before, but they can still result in some of the same traditional punishments. 

As such, parents and students should all understand what the potential penalties are for cheating. It can also be important to understand what to do when the consequences of alleged cheating go too far.

Florida parents propose newer laws on after school clubs

Clubs are a great way for high school students to develop their social and intellectual skills. They can make new friends, explore their passions or discover something they never knew they were interested in to begin with. Though there are plenty of athletic opportunities offered at high schools, they are heavily based on a student’s physical ability and skill set. A club can be a great alternative to keep them busy if they cannot or do not want to play basketball.

However, clubs do not have as many state restrictions set upon them as much as sports or competitive programs. In the last year, several concerned parents in Florida began suggesting different laws to their respective counties to either keep the children safer or to give them more say on who can join a club.

Student suspended after protests on backpack ban

High school students can find themselves caught between being an adult and being a teenager in school. Finding ways to express themselves and take ownership of their beliefs can therefore be a struggle within the context of school. And in some cases, their efforts result in unfortunate penalties.

Recently, for instance, a student made international headlines when he protested his school's ban on backpacks by carrying his books in items like a microwave and a saucepan. The school suspended him because of his behavior, which invites the question of how can students engage in peaceful protests without it damaging their academic future?