April 11, 2014. Tampa Bay Times.
At Tuesday’s school board workshop, Pinellas director of operations Michael Bessette is scheduled to present an updated agreement with area police precincts on student misconduct.
The goal of the plan, which has evolved over the last few months, is to cut down on the number of student arrests at schools by establishing what an arrestable offense is and what lesser options are available for disciplining students.
Bessette met with area police chiefs in January.
In March, a community group of churches called Faith and Action for Strength Together, or FAST, challenged Superintendent Mike Grego to do more with the collaborative agreement. They asked him to create a discipline matrix like that of Broward County, which lists every possible punishment for every possible infraction, down to the occurrence.
Grego said he “absolutely” would create such a matrix, to the applause of FAST.
This revised agreement doesn’t appear to have such a matrix, but it’s possible the district will wheel it out at the workshop (it’s not uncommon for public documents to appear the day of the workshop, although they are supposed to be posted as soon as they are created). It’s also possible that Grego will create the disciplinary matrix separately.
Gradebook will be at the workshop to update when we get more information about whether the promise made to FAST is coming to fruition.