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Duval juvenile judge and superintendent disagree on school safety

6:15 PM, Oct 31, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Violent acts by teens grab attention, but examples being used by a local juvenile court judge are being judged as unfair by Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.

Circuit Judge Henry Davis in a guest column published in the Florida Times-Union on Thursday questioned the ability of Duval County Public Schools to protect well-mannered students from disruptive students.

This spring, Judge Davis told First Coast News in an interview, "What I find most terrifying is that kids are dropping out of school because of violence in the schools."

The judge's comments were related to a case he was hearing regarding a teen accused of beating another teen at the Oceanway School in March. The judge banned the accused student from attending local schools. That decision was later overturned by a higher court.

Vitti said the judge is well-intentioned but is using examples of violence not directly associated with schools.

"I think it is a bit illogical and irresponsible that children are not safe in schools when we cite occurrences outside school campuses," said Vitti.

The superintendent said he has invited Judge Davis to visit schools and see the students who are behaving and learning.

Several grandparents weighed in on the school safety while waiting to pick up children outside Kirby Smith Middle.

"Some schools have a little more problem than others, but overall I think pretty safe for students, " said Robert Price.

Wanda Wilson is another grandparent who agrees.

"It's pretty safe, my grandson goes here he never has a problem," said Wilson.

First Coast News

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