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Public schools grappling with Confederate names, images

in 2017/Top Headlines by

With a new school year dawning, education officials are grappling with whether to remove the names, images and statues of Confederate figures from public schools — especially since some are now filled with students of color.

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Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform formed as Legislative Session formally begins

in Statewide by

With numerous criminal justice reform bills already moving through Florida House and Senate committees this year, a nonpartisan coalition called The Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform announced Monday its formation on the eve of the 2017 Legislative Session. The Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform includes the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU of Florida, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, League of Women Voters, R Street Institute, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Florida Public Defender Association, Florida Legal Services, Florida Immigrant Coalition, New…

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Push is on to decriminalize minor youth offenses

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Let’s say you’re a teenager and you do something stupid. I know, hard to believe, right? Maybe you get caught with a small amount of pot, or you’re in the wrong place when a fight breaks out. Maybe you’re out with the guys and ended up someplace you shouldn’t, or you committed a petty theft. You’ve never broken the law before, but someone called the cops and soon you’re handcuffed in the back of a squad car with a record…

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Southern Poverty Law Center files complaing about Pinellas County School System

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Claiming that black and disabled students are disproportionately arrested and restrained, the Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the Pinellas County School System. The suit asks that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice investigate and compel Pinellas County Schools to revise its arrest policies and practices. The SPLC also wants the OCR and DOJ to restrict the use of chemical weapons on students; eliminate arrests…

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Mitch Perry Report for 3.31.16 – Pinellas lawmakers reflect on bills likely positive for entire body politic

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

You hear a lot in the news these days about how conservatives are poised to work with liberals on criminal justice. It actually happened a few times during this past Legislative Session in Tallahassee. At Wednesday’s Suncoast Tiger Bay meeting in St. Petersburg, the assembled lawmakers were asked to cite what they thought was the most important piece of legislation of the Session. Clearwater House Republican Chris Latvala referred to his bill that allows certain juvenile offenders apply to the Florida…

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Today on Context Florida: Health care regret, hate groups, ‘be nice’ and more than a number

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida: Republicans who have left no stone unturned in efforts to crush Obamacare are having second thoughts as they realize 6.4 million could lose their health insurance, says Marc Yacht. The chaos created by such action lies at the feet of conservative Republicans and the ultimate cost at the polls is yet to be determined. It brings up the adage, “Be careful what you want; you may get it!” The murder of a pastor and eight parishioners in their…

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Today on Context Florida: Special session begins, Everglades, déjà vu and the health of our healthcare system

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida: Florida legislators reconvene this week in a special session to do its only real job – pass a budget. The politics of personal resentment are alive and well and back in Tallahassee, says Julie Delegal. The shortsighted idea, as Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center describes it, is this: “No one should get anything that only I should be entitled to.” Why else would House Speaker Steve Crisafulli bring up words like “able-bodied working-age adults”…

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