Former Justice James E.C. Perry to Speak at Stetson

Former Justice James E.C. Perry

James E.C. Perry, former justice of the Florida Supreme Court, will discuss search and seizure at Florida schools during the Nina B. Hollis Educational Leadership Center’s (NBHELC) inaugural Leadership Symposium “Safety, Security and the Law in Today’s Schools” at Stetson University on Monday, June 17.

The conference will provide K-12 school district and educational leaders with an opportunity to learn more about school safety and legal issues in Florida’s public schools.

“The Leadership Symposium is specifically designed to provide expert analysis regarding today’s current legal environment and school safety,” said Christopher Colwell, Ed.D., associate professor and chair of the Education Department at Stetson. “A critical component of the symposium is the opportunity for K-12 school district and educational leaders to have a dialogue and interaction with experts and not simply hear presentations on the topics presented.” To support this goal of direct interaction with legal experts, attendance is limited to 100 participants.

On May 8, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 7030 into law, allowing Florida teachers to carry firearms on campus.

Arming teachers to protect students has been a heated and emotional debate since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018. Seventeen students and staff members were killed during the tragedy.

B. Glen Epley, Ph.D.

In addition to Perry, who earned his Juris Doctorate at Columbia Law School, speakers include:

  • B. Glen Epley, Ph.D., professor of education at Stetson, discussing the legal implications of social media and how high-profile events from school shootings to cyberbullying have increased pressure on public schools to do more to protect children.
  • Mercy Roberg, J.D., director of the Office of Professional Education at the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law, exploring issues related to guns on campus and whether there has been a rise in firearm-related injuries due to legislation changes. 
Mercy Roberg, J.D.

Florida ranked among the top 10 states of most concern for violent threats/incidents during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years, according to a report from the Educator’s School Safety Network (ESSN). The report found 279 violent incidents occurred at schools in the United States during the 2017-2018 academic year, a 113 percent increase from the previous school year.

The Nina B. Hollis Educational Leadership Center’s Leadership Symposium “Safety, Security and the Law in Today’s Schools” is Monday, June 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Carlton Union Building’s Stetson Room (second floor), 131 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand, 32723. The event is free and open to K-12 school district and educational leaders in Central Florida. Space is limited to 100 attendees. Lunch will be served during the symposium. Registration is open through Monday, June 10.

The Nina B. Hollis Institute for Educational Reform (NBHIER) works to champion and promote the advancement of teaching and learning, and NBHELC addresses the achievement gap of children in marginalized settings by creating a network of culturally responsive schools. NBHIER and NBHELC are providing this educational opportunity for K-12 school leaders.

“Launching the Leadership Symposium has been a collaborative goal of the Hollis Institute and Leadership Center,” said Bette Heins, Ph.D., chair of NBHIER and professor of education at Stetson. “The symposium will include presentations about timely topics followed by small group breakout sessions, which will provide an opportunity for deeper dialogue. We plan to have annual symposiums on topics that school leaders will want to examine in greater depth.”

-Sandra Carr