ORLANDO, Fla. - As more details about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas come to light, a school safety bill is sitting on the desk of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waiting to be signed.
"Whenever we have an event like this, we still have so much farther to go."
House Bill 1421 would require the state school board to set the rules for active shooter drills in schools. Right now those rules and requirements are guided by district school boards. "You have 200 school districts, just for an example. They all have a diff drill schedule. Maybe they all train differently 11, and so one of the things about this new bill is it’s going to streamline that," said retired senior state department agent and threat assessment professional Dave Benson.
FOX 35 reached out to each of our Central Florida school districts. We learned that both Brevard and Seminole County Public Schools do both active shooter drills and fire drills once a month. In Osceola County Public Schools, they do the same, plus additional drills in the first 30 days of the school year.
"We need to make sure that they’re happening and we need to make sure that they’re happening correctly," said Rep. Randy Fine, R- Palm Bay. He’s on the Education and Employment Committee that was involved in creating this bill.
The first version of the bill was passed after the Parkland shooting. It created the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission and many rules to prevent mass shootings in schools. This version of the bill extends that commission and everything they oversee for another three years.
The bill moved through the House and Senate unanimously. "When you have an agreement with the republicans and the democrats coming together, our children is a top priority. So we didn’t see the division that we normally would," said Rep. Patricia Williams, D- Fort Lauderdale.
"Generally speaking, the state of Florida is in much better shape than many other states," said Benson. "because they mandated this at the state level
The bill now sits on the governor’s desk, expected to be signed soon.