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Gov. DeSantis signs HB 1241 to increase school safety measures in Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis(WCJB)
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 1:30 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1241 into law Tuesday. The bill hopes to improve school safety measures in the state of Florida.

The steps taken by HB 1421 build on legislation over the last three years to implement the additional recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission to make schools safer and improve youth mental health in Florida.

DeSantis’ recent budged approved $140 million for mental health and $210 million for school safety, including school hardening grants and youth mental health awareness and assistance training. The governor had previously signed into law SB 590 which required school administrators to gather data on involuntary examinations of students and report data to the Department of Education (DOE); required school safety officers to receive mental health training; and required schools to give timely notification of threats, unlawful acts, and significant emergencies.

“Every child needs a safe and secure learning environment,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “By signing HB 1421, we continue to build on the many steps we have taken since 2019 to implement the recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, while also making record investments in mental health and school safety.”

HB 1421 does the following:

  • Extends the sunset of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission;
  • Authorizes the Commissioner of Education to enforce, rather than just oversee, school safety and security compliance;
  • Authorizes safe school officers to make arrests on charter school property;
  • Requires all safe school officers to complete crisis intervention and training to improve knowledge and skills for response and de-escalate incidents on school premises;
  • Requires law enforcement officers to be present and involved in active assailant emergency drills;
  • Requires school boards to adopt family reunification plans in the event of an evacuation; and
  • Requires that school districts must annually certify that at least 80 percent of school personnel have received mandatory youth mental health awareness training.

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