Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Gov. DeSantis Signs Florida School Safety Bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 1421, which takes several measures to improve school safety in 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.

In the Freedom First Budget, Governor DeSantis also approved a record $140 million for mental health and $210 million for school safety, including school hardening grants and youth mental health awareness and assistance training.

“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.”

“This legislation is a huge leap forward in school safety,” said State Board of Education Member Ryan Petty.“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his bold leadership on this most fundamental issue. Nothing is more important than providing safe and secure learning environments for our children and educators. Extending the Commission’s work and requiring mental health and de-escalation training for safe-school officers will make a major difference in mitigating the risk of a future tragedy.”

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“Every parent deserves to know their child is safe at school,” said Tony Montalto, President of Stand with Parkland. “This new law, which passed unanimously through the Florida Legislature, is an important next step in providing school safety assurances to families and students. Florida will continue to do everything possible to make sure our schools meet the highest safety standards and that mental health issues associated with school violence are being addressed.”

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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