Florida House Advances School Safety Measure on Parkland Shooting Anniversary

Florida legislators have given their approval to a bill aiming to enhance school safety on the sixth anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland. At the same time, they are considering rolling back a state law that increased the minimum age for purchasing a firearm, which was passed in response to the shooting.

During their vote to pass the school safety legislation, lawmakers in the House Education & Employment Committee held a moment of silence on Wednesday morning to honor the 17 individuals who lost their lives in the shooting. The proposal, HB 1473, put forth by Republican Representative Dana Trabulsy of St. Lucie County, mandates that entry points and classroom doors in public schools remain locked, unless monitored by a staff member.

Trabulsy remarked, “Sadly, there are 17 victims and their friends and families that will never look at Valentine’s Day the same, and that’s why the school safety bill was born six years ago, and that’s why we continue to hear a school safety bill every year so that we can continue to build upon what we’ve learned from previous years and instances.”

The bill also necessitates that the Office of Safe Schools carry out unannounced inspections on a triennial basis to ensure compliance with all safety requirements. Schools found to be non-compliant would be subject to reinspection within six months.

The proposal received unanimous support from the committee.

Reversing course

On the eve of the anniversary of the mass shooting, Democrats voiced their criticism of two bills in the House that aim to lower the minimum age for firearm purchases from 21 to 18 and permit individuals to obtain a gun if the Florida Department of Law Enforcement cannot ascertain their eligibility within three days.

Broward County Democratic House Representative Dan Daley expressed, “So as far as I’m concerned, candidly, that bill and so many others in this building this year are a slap in the face to my community, to the victims and their families, and really is absurd,” during a remote news conference on Tuesday.

In addition to the school safety legislation, the bill also prohibits the operation of drones over school premises without authorization from the administration. Republican Representative Randy Fine pointed out that Jewish day schools had encountered issues with drone activity and the committee also approved a bill, sponsored by Fine, to allocate extra funds to these schools on Wednesday.

Fine stated, “I just want folks to know this was an issue that came up after Oct. 7, where drones started flying over Jewish day schools, and FDLE told us, ‘There’s nothing you could do. They can fly them over.’ While the issue is only affecting Jewish day schools, frankly, drones shouldn’t be flying over any schools.”

Other articles

Post Image
Education
Cold Atoms and Cross-Country Running: Exploring the Dynamics of Many-Body Systems

Newton’s principle of reaction and action dictates that an equal and oppos …

Read More
Education
Biden implements new Title IX rules to strengthen protections for sexual assault survivors and LGBTQ students

The Biden administration has officially completed a much-anticipated revision of …

Read More
Post Image
Education
Success of Rural School Leaders

In a rural school community, the principal’s visibility and accessibility …

Read More