Interim Superintendent Dana Kriznar talks to reporters before the start of the school year. | Claire Heddles, Jacksonville TodayInterim Superintendent Dana Kriznar talks to reporters before the start of the school year. | Claire Heddles, Jacksonville Today
Interim Superintendent Dana Kriznar talks to reporters before the start of the school year. | Claire Heddles, Jacksonville Today

Duval Schools responds to criticism from state education commissioner

Published on May 23, 2024 at 3:46 pm

In her response to a critical letter from Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., Duval County Interim Superintendent Dana Kriznar said the district has already made several changes to its procedures to help keep students safe, and more are on the way. 

Jacksonville Today obtained Kriznar’s response, dated May 10, on Wednesday, May 22, from the Florida Department of Education. 

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Kriznar responded to Diaz the day after he sent his letter with instructions to respond within five days. 

Kriznar said in the letter that families from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, the epicenter of recent controversies over student safety, would soon have the opportunity to provide the district feedback on its efforts and plans.

Duval Schools spokesman Tracy Pierce told Jacksonville Today on Wednesday that opportunity came in the form of a survey distributed to Douglas Anderson families last Friday. He said the survey gives stakeholders an anonymous opportunity to evaluate the district’s progress and suggest opportunities for improvement. 

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In his letter, Diaz revisited criticism from a year prior, when he told then-Superintendent Diana Greene that the district needed to more promptly report student safety incidents and employee misconduct to the state. Kriznar said in her response that in May 2023, Duval Schools implemented a new digital reporting system.

Diaz also cited the recent delayed removal of Christopher Allen-Black from his Douglas Anderson classroom. Kriznar said in her response that the district this month proposed a new policy to the School Board mandating the rapid removal of employees arrested for or alleged to have committed “any type of sexual misconduct or exposure, child abuse or harm to a person, or distribution of illegal drugs.” 

Kriznar said Duval Schools also created an online system this year to allow students and others to anonymously report employee misconduct directly. She said the district will continue to review its policies and procedures for the coming school year.


author image Reporter Megan Mallicoat is a Jacksonville Today reporter focusing on education. Her professional experience includes teaching at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, as well as editing, communications management, web design, and graphic design. She has a doctorate in mass communication with an emphasis in social psychology from UF. In her "free time," you'll most likely find her on the sidelines of some kind of kids’ sports practice, holding a book.
author image Reporter Megan Mallicoat is a Jacksonville Today reporter focusing on education. Her professional experience includes teaching at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, as well as editing, communications management, web design, and graphic design. She has a doctorate in mass communication with an emphasis in social psychology from UF. In her "free time," you'll most likely find her on the sidelines of some kind of kids’ sports practice, holding a book.

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