Marjory Stoneman Douglas safety commission reviews new school safety laws, efforts

Commission meeting for two days to discuss arming teachers, mental health

By Gabriella Nuñez - Multimedia Producer
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission met Monday for the first time following Florida’s legislative session.

It was the first of two days of meetings and discussions about how to improve safety across Florida schools.

On Tuesday, the commission reviewed new laws that were passed in Florida’s recent legislative session. They reviewed how lawmakers complied with the group’s recommendations listed in their public report. The MSD Public Safety Commission delivered the 407-page report to lawmakers in Tallahassee Jan. 2.

The commission was created following the Valentine's Day mass shooting in Parkland, where 17 people were killed.

The 15-member panel analyzed security procedures and protocol that contributed to the deadly shooting. The group recommended an array of new procedures, including armed assailaint training for school personnel and formal clear-cut threat assessment tests.

Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a law that overwhelmingly complied with many of the commission’s recommendations.

The law, SB7030, clarifies school guardian programs; and training requirements and OKs arming teachers.

Mental health recommendations were also addressed in SB 7030, requiring students to disclose any previous referrals to mental health services. It also requires public and charter schools across the state to have at least one active shooter drill once a month, standardizing the requirement.

Outstanding proposals based on the commission’s recommendations include allowing SWAT team medics to carry firearms. The commission also agrees to push for mandating the release of clinical information by a mental health provider to law enforcement officials when their patient has communicated a specific threat with the ability to carry it out. Both bills can become law upon the governor’s signature, according to the commission's presentation.

The Public Safety Commission will also meet Wednesday to review how other commission initiatives are being executed.

Keep up with the MSD Public Safety Commission's research and agenda here.

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