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Keep a 2.0 or forget the drama club?

Legislators want to bring students in line with Hillsborough County, which requires that GPA to participate in after-school activities.

Published April 20, 2005

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Senate on Wednesday approved a measure requiring students in extracurricular activities maintain a 2.0 grade point average.

It's the same standard that already applies to students involved in sports.

The bill was amended to allow exemptions for students whose grades slip due to personal circumstances, such as a death or divorce in the family. Tutoring also is exempt. Senators also want to let some school districts get out of the requirement.

School districts could avoid the requirement if at least half the students involved in extracurricular activities maintain a 2.0 GPA.

The Senate also agreed to let school districts make good conduct a requirement for after-school activities, regardless of a student's grades. Students convicted of a serious crime could be excluded from extracurricular activities.

The bill returns to the House, which approved the measure last week, after the Senate takes an expected final vote today.

Supporters say the legislation (HB 149 and SB 1034) will encourage students to keep their grades up.

Opponents say it could penalize students who might drop out of school if not for after-school programs.

Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, argued that juvenile delinquents should be encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities, such as the drama club, not barred from them.

"Some of them have been adjudicated of crimes that juveniles do. But now they have changed. We have made them better. And now they are going back into the school system and we are saying because you were involved in this you can't participate," Wilson said.

[Last modified April 20, 2005, 18:06:17]

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