Recovery

Parkland Shootings: Governor Expects 'Major Reform' on School Safety by Next Week

Scott also called for every public school to have a dedicated mental health counselor on staff, in addition to any guidance counselors they already employ.

by Jorge Milian, The Palm Beach Post, Fla. / March 1, 2018

(TNS) - In the wake of the Parkland shootings, Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday that he expects “major reform” on school safety by March 9, when the Florida Legislature session is scheduled to end.

Scott spoke at a news conference at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office headquarters to tout his $500 million plan, which Sheriff Ric Bradshaw called “fantastic.”

“We have the money. We have to spend the money,” Scott said.

Scott also called for every public school to have a dedicated mental health counselor on staff, in addition to any guidance counselors they already employ. Currently, most schools don’t have dedicated counselors.

Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was among the 17 people who died Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, urged lawmarkers to act on Scott’s plan.

“This time must be different,” Petty said. He urged lawmakers not to get “mired” in the gun-control debate and arguments about the Second Amendment.

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa was on hand for the news conference as well, along with district Police Chief Lawrence Leon.

At the news conference, Avossa said he agrees with Scott that teachers should not be armed. Some have argued that allowing teachers to carry firearms might keep students safer during school shootings.

“If everything was done right, Parkland wouldn’t have happened,” Bradshaw said at the news conference.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Staff writer George Bennett contributed to this story.

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