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Sarasota Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 6 months ago

Sarasota School Board sets new policies, approves Corcoran’s contract

The board approved policies that would allow medical marijuana to be administered on campus and authorize administrators to use metal detectors to search students. 
by: Brynn Mechem Staff Writer

The Sarasota County School Board’s first meeting of the year was filled with new policies and contracts.

The board approved policy changes including those concerning medical marijuana and student detention, search and seizure, and it approved a contract for interim Superintendent Mitsi Corcoran.

Corcoran’s contract

Corcoran has acted as interim superintendent since former superintendent Todd Bowden resigned Nov. 19

Corcoran was supposed to remain in the role until a long-term, but still temporary, administrator could be found. However, on Dec. 10 board members decided to keep Corcoran in the role until a new superintendent is found, which could take several months to more than a year. 

The board unanimously approved a new contract, equivalent to Bowden’s old agreement. The contract provides Corcoran with an annual salary of $207,000. She also will receive a combined $1,150 a month for business expenses and a vehicle.

Unlike Bowden’s contract, a supermajority board vote is not required to fire Corcoran; a simple majority would be sufficient.

Medical marijuana

Following a state directive, the board approved a policy that would allow the administration of medical marijuana on campuses.

The policy allows only parents or licensed caregivers to have access to the qualifying student to administer the drug under strict campus controls. School nurses or other staff are not responsible for the administration or storage of the medical marijuana.

The district was the last in Tampa Bay to approve the policy, which was supposed to be complete by the end of 2019.

Metal detectors

The board also approved changes to the district’s student detention, search and seizure policy.

The previous iteration of the policy allowed the use of medical detectors to scan and screen for firearms and other weapons.

The change now allows administrators to use metal detectors to search for prohibited articles, such as vaping pens or other paraphernalia, if a staff member has reasonable suspicion for a search.

The policies and Corcoran’s contract are now in effect.

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