Legislature approves Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ school safety law update

This bill to boost compliance with school safety standards set in 2018 will then await the governor’s signature.

Updates to improve school safety and strengthen legislation passed in the wake of the state’s worst school shooting received unanimous Senate approval on Thursday.

The bill also passed unanimously in the House. The measure updates the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act, which was passed in 2018 and is named after Parkland High School where a shooting killed 17 and injured 17.

This year’s update clarifies expectations for public and charter schools and requires new training for school safety officers. He will then go to the Governor’s office to await his signature.

Differences between the bill that was approved in the House and the one that went through Senate committees were ironed out when the Senate sponsor, the Republican senator. Joe Gruter replaced the Senate bill (SB 802) that he sponsored for the bill (HB 1421) this Republican representative. Fred Hawkin sponsored in the House.

“The bill strengthens oversight of school safety by providing enhanced state-level authority over school safety requirements,” Gruters said.

The provisions of the bill seek to remedy the difficulties faced by schools in complying with the requirements of the previous law. Some of the committee’s rulings for the House bill included testimony that none of the state’s 67 school districts are in full compliance with state school safety rules passed in 2018.

Other provisions of the bill include:

— Ensure that school safety officers receive training in mental health crisis intervention.

— Extend the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission term so that it continues to oversee the implementation of security measures until 2026, moving it beyond the planned end date of 2023.

— Report school safety and environmental data in a consistent, easy-to-read format.

— Ask the State Board of Education to set the time and frequency of emergency drills.

– Mandate schools’ plans to leverage the use of social media and other information systems, such as that day’s attendance record, to expedite the reunification of students with their parents if the school building the school is unexpectedly evacuated or closed due to an emergency.


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