Man pleas for Fair 'Student Day' change after son's death - FOX 13 News

Man pleas for Fair 'Student Day' change after son's death

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The hurt hasn't left Andrew Joseph Jr; it was in his voice as he addressed the Hillsborough County School Board Tuesday night.

Back in February he was forced to bury his 14-year-old son Andrew "PeeWee" Joseph III.

"I took him to the fair as a vibrant young man. I took him home in a bag," he said.

His son was one of nearly 100 kids thrown out of the fair on Student Day.

RELATED: A closer look at the fair chaos

Video from inside shows what many have called "wilding", where kids create chaos for fun.

After getting tossed out, "Pee Wee" decided to try and cross I-4, but he never made it.

"As of right now, our kids are not safe. I'm here on behalf of the children," he said.

His dad suggests changing the name of Student Day to “Family Day” to encourage more parents to attend.

He also thinks tickets shouldn't just be given to everyone; it should be more of a reward.

"Make it a reward-system- only kids getting tickets are kids with a C-average and good attendance," he suggested.

The district, Florida State Fair Authority and the county sheriff's office have been working on changes for months. They aren't handing out tickets based on grades, but disciplinary issues will be considered.

"If a student were to have a discipline issue- if they're suspended, they won't be issued a ticket," said district spokesperson Tanya Arja.

After 6 p.m., a child will also have to arrive with an adult.

Everyone wants the same thing- to avoid issues like this and the kind of heartbreak felt by a father who lost his young son.

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