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Parenting Program Launches In Certain Fla. Counties, Could Later Expand Statewide

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey speaking during a press conference about a pilot parenting program. He's joined by (left to right) Rep. Ritch Workman, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Sen. President Andy Gardiner, and Brevard State Attorney Phil Archer.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey speaking during a press conference about a pilot parenting program. He's joined by (left to right) Rep. Ritch Workman, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Sen. President Andy Gardiner, and Brevard State Attorney Phil Archer.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey speaking during a press conference about a pilot parenting program. He's joined by (left to right) Rep. Ritch Workman, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Sen. President Andy Gardiner, and Brevard State Attorney Phil Archer.
Credit Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM
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Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey speaking during a press conference about a pilot parenting program. He's joined by (left to right) Rep. Ritch Workman, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Sen. President Andy Gardiner, and Brevard State Attorney Phil Archer.

Florida’s new House Speaker and Senate President helped launch a pilot parenting program in Tallahassee Wednesday.

Brevard State Attorney Phil Archer says it’s not unheard of for parents not to know what rights they have when disciplining their kids or how to hold them accountable.

“A lot of parents had no idea that they could legally go in and search their child’s room and law enforcement, we of course, understand that,” said Archer, during a press conference Wednesday. “But, a lot of parents didn’t understand that or that they could have law enforcement come in and search the rooms.”

Joined by Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner at the Florida Capitol, Archer along with Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey announced the launch of a program called "It's Time To Be A Parent Again" that they say can help.

“Not only have the challenges changed, but parents today often don’t feel empowered to able to hold their kid accountable for their actions,” said Ivey. “So, ‘It’s Time To Be A Parent Again’ is essentially a tool box that goes out in a seminar format that teaches and gives parents awareness about everything they can do to hold their kid accountable. Essentially, it’s built around this principle, and that is that the sheriff or chief of police shouldn’t have to be the chief law enforcement officer in your child’s life, you are.”

The initial pilot started in Brevard County, reaching more than two-thousand parents. Now, after discussing the potential statewide impact it could have with Crisafulli and Gardiner, Ivey says it’s now set to launch in three other counties: Polk, Seminole, and Osceola.

And, Crisafulli says he already sees the merit of taking the program statewide.

“You know, it’s in its infancy stages, but certainly I believe that an opportunity to empower parents is important, and the Sheriff has been looking at this and working on it over the last six or eight months and has seen some results,” said Crisafulli, speaking to reporters.

As part of the program, inmates are also brought to the seminars to speak to parents about where their life turned to crime as well as answer questions. The program is not just limited to parents, potential parents and grandparents can participate as well.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner .

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