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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75694 Find in a Library
Title: Florida's Task Force on School Disruption (From Critical Issues in Education, P 91-96, 1978, Ruth W Woodling, ed.)
Author(s): S A Rollin
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Originally presented to a 1976 conference of Georgia educators, this paper summarizes the findings of Florida's Task Force on School Disruption and discusses the State's legislative responses to school crime.
Abstract: This task force, established by the Governor in 1973, examined 5,000 high school students in 10 counties which represent about 80 percent of Florida's population. The study revealed that race was the single best predictor of school disruption, followed by reading skills, referral to psychological services, and lack of involvement in extracurricular activities. Blacks comprised 44 percent of the students who had been expelled or suspended, although they were only 21 percent of the school population. Suspension unfortunately creates double-bind problems because these students are excluded from extracurricular activities as part of their punishment and miss needed classroom instruction. Truancy was the major reason for suspension in Florida, followed by verbal abuse, physical violence, violation of school rules, and smoking. The task force also explored the relationships between learning style and disruptive behavior and found that the disruptive students tended to have difficulty with abstractions. In its final phase, the task force estimated that Florida was losing an average of $46,000 a year per county due to school disruption. A 1974 Safe Schools Act was intended to give financial assistance to schools for improving physical security, but educators indicated a preference for programs that dealt with training alternatives instead. The Florida Education Leadership act funded training programs for school principals in conflict resolution, crisis intervention, and human relations. A 1975 law mandated district school boards to establish due process procedures for students being suspended or expelled, and subsequent legislation delineated a due process system, including the right to counsel. In 1976, the legislature passed a bill which authorized principals, in cases involving truancy and suspension, to request that parents attend a course in parenting. This statute also made parents liable for damage to schools and school property. In addition, local school boards have developed alternative programs for their students.
Index Term(s): Crime in schools; Florida; Juvenile delinquency factors; School vandalism; State laws
Note: Presented at the Conference on Education for Georgia Legislators, September 1976.
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