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By law, all schools in Florida are required to employ a sworn officer or trained guard by the first day. With not enough guards hired, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is assigning officers to fill the gap.

Six months to the day after the shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — and coming shortly after the Broward County school district’s controversial reversal of a plan to install metal detectors at the Parkland school — a consultant tasked with providing a security assessment recommended against using the devices.

Metal detectors will not be installed for the start of classes at a Florida high school where 17 students and faculty were slain on Valentine's Day.

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will no longer have to use see-through backpacks, but they will have to pass through metal detectors when they return to class in a few weeks.

Parkland Panel Examines Mental Health Challenges

Jul 13, 2018

A school-safety commission examining the mass shooting at a Parkland high school heard testimony Thursday about Florida’s fractured and overwhelmed mental health system.

A commission investigating a Florida high school massacre has concluded that the suspect's connection to a student diversion program played no role in the attack, and commission members pushed aside suggestions that the program prevented police from stopping suspect Nikolas Cruz before the shooting.

Nearly five months after a gunman murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, the search for answers continues.

The big-picture question, of course, is how could this have happened?

But within that are all sorts of other questions involving issues such as mental health, guns, school security and police response.

Sarasota County Schools

The Sarasota County School Board is holding an emergency meeting Thursday on school security.  It comes after months of debate over whether the Sheriff's Office would help pay for school resource officers.


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The news that 17 people, including young teenagers, had been gunned down in Parkland while going about their school day on Valentine’s Day this year sent shocks of outrage, anguish and calls to do something to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

One result is a new law that says schools must have someone carrying a gun, sometimes called a school resource officer, who could respond in the event of a shooter on campus.

This week on Florida Matters, we're talking with Tampa Bay area officials about how their school districts are complying with a new state law that requires there to be at least one armed security guard in every school. 

The Duval County School Board heard from school police Chief Micheal Edwards Tuesday, who is heading up the hiring of 105 school safety assistants to patrol the district’s elementary schools.

Next school year the Duval County School District could employ double the current number of therapists. That’s part of its plan to strengthen mental health services for students under the state’s school safety bill passed after February’s Parkland shooting.

A retired Secret Service agent pointed out security vulnerabilities at a Florida high school two months before a gunman killed 17 people there.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam announced his campaign plans for public safety with a focus on fighting crime and combatting the opioid epidemic.

The task force investigating the Florida high school shooting massacre is set to discuss student diversion programs, school security and campus police.

The federal school safety commission set up after the deadly shooting at a Florida high school will not examine the role of guns in school violence, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday.

A task force has released a report with 100 recommendations for keeping kids safe in the wake of the Florida school shooting that killed 17.

As students count down the days until summer vacation, concerned parents are scrambling to keep survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre occupied so they don't have extra time to relive the nightmare.

Sen. Bill Nelson is filing a bill to get more mental health professionals for students in elementary, middle and high schools across the country.

Central Florida Schools Beefing Up Security

May 22, 2018

With schools almost out for summer, some school districts aren’t waiting to ramp up security. Brevard Schools said even before the Texas school shooting last week it’s adding security fencing, cameras and remote-controlled entry locks.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

St. Petersburg will not take 29 police officers off the street and place them in elementary schools. The city – following suit with Hillsborough and Pinellas counties - will instead hire armed security guards.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

In response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people, Florida lawmakers passed a law in March requiring all schools in the state to have at least one armed and trained law enforcement officer or "school guardian."

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is never at a loss for words or opinions on criminal behavior. He has recently played a major role in the response to the school shooting in Parkland.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk with Sheriff Judd as part of our ongoing “Newsmaker” series.


Polk County Sheriff's Office Facebook

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our ongoing "Newsmaker" series. We talk with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd about a number of issues, including the programs his department runs that train and arm staff members in schools to fend off active shooters.


FDLE Agent Named To Oversee School Safety

May 3, 2018

A longtime agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will direct the state’s Office of Safe Schools, which was created after a mass shooting in February that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. 

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Four days after a student was injured by a shooting at a Florida high school officials have ordered 34 new officers to be placed in the county's schools for the remainder of the school year.

A 16-member commission on Tuesday will begin reviewing the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Broward County high school, looking into the circumstances of the crime, the background of the alleged shooter and recommendations to prevent future tragedies.

Dozens of students, parents and school staff members lined up at two microphones in the auditorium at Plantation High School on Wednesday night to share their fear and anger with Broward school district leaders.

Parkland Parents Urge Steps To Improve School Safety

Apr 19, 2018

Parents of students who died in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting are calling for a range of steps to prevent gun violence, including measures to "harden" schools to minimize attacks and to identify potential shooters before they act.

Sarasota High School / Sarasota County Schools

School districts across Florida are grappling with how to implement a new law adopted after the mass school shooting in Parkland.

In the next  academic year, all schools in the state must have at least one school resource officer on campus.

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