COCOA, Fla. (FOX 35 Orlando) - As the Parkland shooting anniversary approaches, Florida’s new governor has issued a series of executive orders so that kind of violence can never happen again.
Governor DeSantis was in Brevard County Wednesday to make the announcement. The theme of his speech was accountability, and how kids like Nicolas Cruz should never be shuffled through diversion programs, with no intervention.
High schools and sometimes middle schools collaborate with law-enforcement to give students with behavioral problems a way to turn their lives around. However, in the case of Cruz, Gov. DeSantis says the Promise Program failed and lives were taken as a result.
“When you don’t have accountability in the schools, you are in effect teaching people that there’s not going to be accountability when you get out of the schools, and that’s not something that I think is been proven to be effective,” DeSantis said.
The governor stood alongside deputies and Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack, who was killed last year. The governor says he wants all school districts in the state to send his office reports about how their diversion programs are run. He says he will be looking for anything that appears too soft. He called accused Parkland shooter Nik Cruz was a case-study in red flags.
“It’s better to have an intervention than to just kind of hope that someone who is issuing a threat, that somehow, they’re not going to act on it,” Gov. DeSantis.
“I can’t rest until I get accountability for my daughter and there are still more things that need to be done,” Pollack said.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey says parents need to have accountability too. He says they need to take the blinders off about kids if there are signs of violent inclinations.
“We’ve got to get to these kids before they get to me or before they get to doing the damage that they’ve set out to do,” Sheriff Ivey says.
Also on making schools safer, Gov. DeSantis says he is extending the deadline for Florida counties to get involved in the Guardian Program. There’s still $50 million available, should schools want to have staff trained to carry guns. Only 25 counties have opted in so far.
From Brevard County, DeSantis went to Broward County, where Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High is located, and he made more announcements about executive orders for school safety.