Gov. Rick Scott announces major action plan to keep students safe
Gov. Rick Scott announced a major action plan Friday to keep Florida students safe following the Parkland school massacre.
Scott spoke at 11 a.m. at the Florida State Capitol on 400 South Monroe Street in Tallahassee.
Scott’s action plan was organized into three parts: gun laws, school safety and mental health. He stated he wanted to, “Make it virtually impossible for anyone with mental issues to get a gun.”
During his speech, he proposed a “violent threat restraining order” in Florida, which will allow a court to prevent a violent or mentally ill person from purchasing a weapon. For those who fall under a mental health law known as the Baker Act, a 60-day period will be instated before individuals can ask a court to restore access to a firearm.
Under Scott’s plan, the state would also require all individuals purchasing firearms to be at least 21 years old and the sale and purchase of so called “bump stocks” would become illegal.
Scott said $450 million will be allocated to keep students safe at school. The governor is calling for the mandatory presence of law enforcement officers — either sworn sheriff’s deputies or police officers — in every public school. Authorities would be required to work during all school hours. The governor suggests there should be at least one officer assigned to every 1,000 students.
Public schools would also be required to complete mandatory active shooter training during the first week of each semester and funding would be used for installing metal detectors, bulletproof glass, steel doors and upgraded locks.
Scott said a new anonymous K-12 “see something, say something” hotline, website and mobile application is also being established.
The school safety plan would start by the 2018-19 school year.
According to the governor, $50 million in additional funding will be provided for mental health initiatives to expand service teams statewide.
The money will provide access to counseling service for mental health counselors in every school. Schools will be required to provide crisis intervention training for all school personnel.
“I’m an NRA member, a supporter of the 2nd amendment, and the 1st amendment, and the entire bill of rights for that matter. I’m also a father, and a grandfather, and a Governor,” Scott said. “We all have a difficult task in front of us … balancing our individual rights with our obvious need for public safety.”
The announcement comes after Scott met with law enforcement, school administrators, teachers, mental health experts, and state agency leadership, the press release said. Scott also hosted meetings with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“I will not accept the old, tired political notion that we don’t have enough time to get anything done,” Scott said. “Government does not have to be slow or lethargic, and when it comes to protecting our schools and our kids, we need to be swift and decisive.”
WINK News streamed the press conference live on Facebook:
Below is Scott’s full major action plan:
Share your thoughts about the plan on the WINK News Facebook page:
Information from CBS News was used in this report.