Sept. 23, 2022 – The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Safe Schools has found that Duval County Public Schools needs to improve its reporting of incidents related to gang activity or expression in its disciplinary incident reporting. The district received this finding in a letter received via email the evening of Sept. 22.
The single finding addressed in the letter is from an analysis of thousands of district disciplinary incidents reported to the department in 35 state reporting categories and classifications over three school years.
This week’s letter is the latest communication stemming from a series of events beginning with the district’s self-reporting of disciplinary data reporting errors in July 2019. After that original 2019 letter:
- The district’s reporting errors were addressed in reports issued by the 20th Statewide Grand Jury between 2019 and 2021.
- The Grand Jury reports prompted an Aug. 29, 2022, letter from the Office of Safe Schools. That letter informed the district that the office had “reason to believe” school officials “violated and continue to violate state law by systemically underreporting incidents of criminal activity to the Florida Department of Education.”
- Representatives of the state Office of Safe Schools then visited the district on Sept. 8, 2022.
- The district received the Sept. 22 letter articulating the single finding from that Sept. 8 visit.
“We discovered and self-reported our data issues in 2019, and we implemented strong corrective measures,” said Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene. “Our current disciplinary reporting shows strong consistency with the state and other school districts. We will continue to consult with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office on how we can improve in this final area, while continuing with the enhancements we have already made.”
Additionally, effective Sept. 26, the district’s Office of Student Discipline and Support Services will be placed under the leadership of Dr. Anna DeWese as executive director. This office is responsible for all processes and procedures related to student discipline including school employee training, monitoring of school discipline implementation, coding of disciplinary incidents in student and district records, district and state reporting, and positive behavioral interventions.