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State Attorney challenges school district on teen punishment

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Updated: 8/07/2013 12:27 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Action News has learned a relatively new program used by Duval County public schools is keeping students who commit violent attacks out of the courtroom and in your child's classroom.

Action News obtained video that shows a local student attacked in the classroom at Baldwin Middle-Senior High School.

We've learned the attacking student who is being prosecuted for battery, almost escaped criminal charges.

According to State Attorney Angela Corey, the school district failed to make an arrest, something she wouldn't stand for.

"That was an outright ambush on a student who was sitting at his desk, and we can't have that," said Corey. "People have to be held fully accountable and those crimes have to be vetted."

Corey is speaking out to Action News about her concerns over a local policy and how she says it may jeopardize victims' rights.

Jacksonville's Civil Citation Program diverts kids from going to jail by putting them through specialized programs and offering alternatives to prosecution.

Local substitute teacher Linda Hurley says she deals with problem students ever weekly. She says punishment should be handled on a case-by-case basis.

"There are some kids that you just try everything you can and it's not going to come around. There are some kids that you do feel if they had the right mentor, if they had the right things happen in their lives, maybe they could turn them around."

Corey says the program is unnecessary and points to the fact that the Baldwin case didn't get reported as a crime within the school district until her office stepped in.

Which may lead some to wonder if the program misrepresents the true crime stats within DCPS. "I don't think just implementing a program to alter stats is ever a good thing," said Corey. "I think you've got to do the right thing for the right reasons."

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Realchange - 8/7/2013 11:33 AM
2 Votes
Corey has no room to talk. She hid evidence of Trayvon Martin not being charged in school with stolen jewelry because of just such a program. Why is it ok for her to hid his criminal activities showing his thug like fight anyone attack anyone mentality? She withheld evidence that would shown Zimmerman's innocence do you really trust this woman to make the right call or not withhold evidence in the future. As for who is behind this program Mr Mayor you need to step up. There was similar program in Miami that was put in place to reduce black minority crimes statistics to make the mayor's office look good. Care to wager who is behind this new rule in Jax?
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