Arrests down, say Duval School officials

Clark Fouraker investigates. 4/25/2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Duval Schools officials say an effort handle certain crimes with the District's Code of Conduct has put a dent in on-campus arrests.

"There were a lot of things that in the past, historically, that were being handled by school resource officers or escalating to the level of arrest that didn't necessarily need to be addressed in that way," said UNF Professor Angela Mann.

Mann says the new approach means a student might be suspended out of school instead of arrested for certain misbehavior.

But State Attorney Angela Corey has concerns there are times when the school district overextends the reach of the District's Code of Conduct.

"If someone sets up a fight, the kind you showed on TV the other night, with people waiting to video tape it, that's a planned attack that is vicious," Corey said.

Corey is talking about videos provided to the First Coast News Investigators showing days of fighting at Ed White High School.

The fights ultimately forced the school into a partial lockdown.

"I saw some of them hit teachers and administrators. That's a felony and arrests should have been made," Corey said. "I'm not sure in the video you showed anyone received anything."

Down 39 percent from last year, Duval Schools says most arrests happen in high schools for felony crimes.

The fight videos are the perfect example of the difference of opinion on how to handle students in certain situations.

The District uses the Code on Conduct while the State Attorney says, for some students, there were grounds for an arrest.

"The hope is that we're finding the right consequences that are going to help mediate those behaviors," Mann said.

Duval Schools declined to issue a statement for our story, but a spokeswoman said they believe in many cases an internal consequence improves student outcomes.

 


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment