BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — According to a report that the state’s auditor general released, Brevard Public Schools has a lot of work regarding youth mental health awareness and assistance training.
As of last summer, just 24% of school personnel had completed the required training.
The school district did not deny that there were issues. The audit was completed during the 2021-2022 fiscal year, and they have taken corrective actions.
Vanessa Skipper is the vice president of the Brevard Federation of Teachers. She is also one of the Brevard Public Schools personnel who has taken Florida’s required youth mental health awareness and assistance training.
“This training is not for teachers or our normal school staff to be able to solve the student’s issues,” Skipper said. “It’s for them to identify the issues.”
Skipper said the training has always been available. It became a requirement after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The report from the state auditor’s general said BPS procedures were not always effective in ensuring compliance.
The district indicated issues because of a trainer shortage and difficulties scheduling staff for training.
The audit also found that the district’s contracts did not require law enforcement agencies to show school resource officers completed required mental health crisis intervention training, although most of them did.
“The district needs to take a close look at and see what else they could do differently or structurally to make sure that teachers get this training,” Skipper said.
BPS is now tracking the state requirement and has instituted a program to ensure new employees receive training within two weeks of their start date.
The state audit also found issues with the district’s information technology operations, notably its disaster recovery plan.
Currently, BPS is working to address the issues found in the report.
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