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DeSantis Admin Investigating Duval Schools’ Use of Soros-Funded Training Materials

The Florida Department of Education told the district to hand over training materials related to the use of “restorative practices” for school discipline.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — Duval County Public Schools’ (DCPS) use of training materials created by a non-profit with ties to radical Leftist billionaire George Soros is now under investigation by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE).

On Monday, the Department’s Office of Safe Schools (OSS) Vice Chancellor Scott Strauss sent a letter to Duval Schools Interim Superintendent Dana Kriznar requesting training materials from the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP).

On August 7, The Florida Standard reported on the board’s decision to continue utilizing a $1 million federal grant to support a “more trauma-informed, healing-centered, and student-focused approach” to discipline and school safety.

READ MORE: Duval Schools Approve Use of Controversial Soros-Funded Approach to Discipline

Administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the grant is part of the federal government’s STOP School Violence Program – launched in 2018 in response to the Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings.


The grant funds teacher training with the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), a non-profit funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. The IIRP website states: “Restorative practices empowers a diversity of voices and reduces discipline disparities based on race and other factors.”

According to Strauss, FDOE requested all training materials related to the grant weeks ago, but never received any IIRP materials.

“We do not believe we received the actual training manuals, instructional materials and descriptions of activities that the International Institute for Restorative Practices intends to use within the district,” he wrote.


Before voting against the continuation of the grant, DCPS board member Charlotte Joyce read aloud portions of the IIRP training handbook that she saw as unrealistic or problematic.

“‘When misbehaving students disrupt a class, other students often have feelings about it,’” she said, quoting a section on “Restorative Circles.” Instead of swift disciplinary action, the IIRP suggests teachers halt classroom instruction and hold a group therapy session.

“‘A [Restorative] Circle provides those who have done wrong an opportunity to take responsibility for their behavior and develop a plan for behaving differently,’” Joyce continued reading from the handbook. “‘It may also give other students a chance to tell how they feel.’”

Another portion of the handbook advises principals to consider not classifying on-campus fights as “fights” when reporting the incident, so they don’t have to suspend the students involved.

“This is what this ‘restorative justice’ practice teaches. This is what they’re telling our teachers and administrators to do,” Joyce said after she finished reading. “When I have brought concerns before this board about the subjectivity of coding a fight […] this is what I’m talking about.”

Strauss appeared to reference Joyce’s comments in his letter, noting that during the school board meeting “concern was expressed that training associated with this grant will create additional time constraints on educators and administrators and could lead to inconsistent and inaccurate reporting of discipline incidents.”

The BJA website lists “open” STOP School Violence grants with school districts in Duval, Palm Beach and Broward counties, as well as a “closed” grant from 2019 in Hillsborough County.