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How Florida's schools approach discipline

In a school in Florida, a multi-tiered approach to discipline should be used to keep students working in a safe and fair environment. Without this, it would be possible for students who cause any kind of minor infraction to suffer unfair penalties or punishments. Parents who find that their children have been inappropriately penalized or punished for their actions may be in a position to seek more information from the school or potentially to file a lawsuit if the penalties have affected the child in a negative way.

For instance, some kinds of penalties may not be allowed at the child's school. Cruel or unusual penalties, like hitting a child or breaking a student's phone, for instance, would be against policy in most schools. Some that do allow corporal punishment still have restrictions on how and when a child can be disciplined.

For a child's first offense, it's normal for a child to receive a verbal warning. The school principal may call the student's guardians as well. A second offense is more serious, leading to a student being unable to participate in an extracurricular activity for a certain length of time. That time is not to exceed five days. On top of that, the parents or guardians may be called in to speak with the principal about the child's behavior.

For third offenses, children may be subject to in-school suspension for no more than three days. Extracurriculars may be banned for up to 30 days as well. The child's guardian will be contacted via phone and mail in most cases.

Source: Department of Education, "Florida Compilation of School Discipline Laws and Regulations," accessed Feb. 19, 2016

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