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Governor Ron DeSantis wants grand jury to look into school safety, security

Governor Ron DeSantis wants grand jury to look into school safety, security
Posted at 4:21 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 16:21:00-05

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis held a news conference on Wednesday and announced he has filed a petition for a statewide grand jury to look into how school districts in the state handle money and security issues that impact school safety — including the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting and how Broward County Schools responded.

"It's not limited to Broward County. It is multi-jurisdictional but I think it's something that is warranted," Gov. DeSantis said.

Students and parents from the Marjory Stoneman were present at the conference. 

"I think it's something that may lead to accountability measures by a grand jury but it could also lead to, and I think it will, lead to recommendations about what some of the various school districts could do better."

Earlier in the day DeSantis also tackled the issue of school security during a different news conference in Titusville by signing Executive Order 19-45.

“Although protecting our students is a perpetual process, there are steps we can take immediately to improve safety in our schools” said Governor DeSantis. “While we cannot bring back the innocents lost, we can honor their memory by learning from the mistakes that were made and resolving to swiftly correct all of those within our control.”

Speaking at the Deputy Barbara A. Pill Law Enforcement Facility DeSantis called on the Florida Department of Education to investigate the state's PROMISE program. The program is for students who commit non-violent misdemeanors. The goal of the program is to keep students out of the criminal justice system.

The investigation was issued in part because Nikolas Cruz, the accused Parkland school shooter, was referred to the program in 2013, but didn't fully participate.

He also announced that he's allowing Sheriff's Office in the state access $150 million in funding for the Guardian Program, which allows trained staff members who aren't teachers to carry a gun on school campuses.

You can read the Executive Order 19-45 here.