Governor Rick Scott spoke at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday. His message concentrated on what he believes is “major reform” to the state’s school safety plan.
Scott says he expects much of his $500 million plan to be in place by the end of the Florida Legislative session on March 9.
Here are some of the details:
- Every public school will have one or more armed district police officer(s) on campus all day
- High schools will have at least two officers, or one for every 1,000 students
- Mandatory active shooter drills
- Every public school gains the addition of an on-staff, dedicated mental health counselor
The Governor stated, “We have the money. We have to spend the money.”
The news conference was attended by Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa as well as district Police Chief Lawrence Leon.
Avossa said that he joins Scott’s stance that teachers should not be armed.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw advocated the “See Something Say Something” app which is now available for use on mobile devices. The app Palm Beach County StudentProtect, which is expected to be available very soon according to its webpage, will provide two-way communication avenues for concerned students or individuals to report threats or suspicious activity and receive pertinent information and alerts.
The app will be available to students and their parents free of charge.
Bradshaw previously had this to say about the upcoming app: “On that app they [students] will be able to report mental health problems, bullying problems, social media problems, suspicious activity to the school police or their parents or the school staff and that information will be channeled to the proper people to do something about it.”
Ryan Petty, father of Alaina who was one of the students killed in the Parkland school shooting, also spoke at the event. Petty said he was appearing in honor of the memory of his daughter Alaina.
“I want to be the last parent to get up and say he lost a daughter in a school shooting.”
Governor Rick Scott is visiting cities throughout the state to call attention to his efforts to reform Florida’s school safety and mental health plans.