Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls for 'school hardening' at state level

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 1:14 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOEY ROULETTE
  • Photo by Joey Roulette
Gov. Ron DeSantis is ordering the Florida Department of Education and state law enforcement to "harden" school safety policies.

DeSantis is pushing for a July 1 deadline. On Tuesday in Brevard County, he announced that he would issue executive orders based on recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission, a body within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that was established during the 2018 legislative session following the fatal Parkland shooting last February.

Among the provisions issued in DeSantis' order, the Republican governor is calling for the Department of Education and FDLE to use money appropriated for a centralized data resource to identify threats in schools.

He's also pushing for FDLE to implement a program that would alert state officials to threat assessments of possible shooting suspects; for the Department of Education to take a second look at all school district leniency programs with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to develop a set of best practices; and for the Department of Education to re-allow local law enforcement to apply for funds to implement the armed guardian program for school campuses. Counties will have until April 1 to apply for the latter.

Broward County School District's Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports and Education program (PROMISE), a juvenile intervention initiative meant to cut down on arrests in schools – one of the aforementioned school district leniency programs – was previously criticized by the Stoneman Douglas Commission for allowing Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz to stay enrolled in school.

The Feb. 14, 2018, shooting claimed 17 lives and injured 17 others.

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