Duval County School Board weighs safety protocols amid heightened tensions at meetings

After the Justice Department launched a nationwide effort to address threats and harassment targeting board members and educators, the Duval County School Board will discuss a plan to ensure views are heard and exchanged in a safe environment.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A resolution to “ensure views are heard and exchanged in a safe environment” appears on the Duval County School Board agenda.

The proposal-- to be discussed among other issues tonight at 6-- reads in part, “The board will work with law enforcement to ensure a safe space for concerned residents and parents to discuss issues with board members in a peaceful manner and prevent violence.”

As schools around the country consider mask mandates and other pandemic procedures, meetings have sometimes become a battleground where anti and pro-maskers and school administration clash.

Duval County Schools Board Meetings have been especially challenged to mediate not only opinions over masks but also the renaming of 9 schools that were named after Confederate leaders.

Public comment sessions were lengthy, tense, and often boiling to a point where some to several disruptive or combative attendees are removed.

But it’s not just Duval County handling the changes in public participation. The Justice Department has also recently launched a nationwide effort to address harassment targeting board members and educators.

Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the FBI to work with U.S. attorneys and federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal authorities in each district to develop strategies against threats to harm.

The Duval County Board Meeting begins at 6 p.m.


About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.