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State school safety commission not naming non-compliant schools -- yet

Members of the commission weren’t happy with the lack of cooperation or documentation provided by some schools to prove they were in compliance with state law.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — No names were named at Wednesday’s meeting of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission in South Florida. 

That said, members of the commission weren’t happy with the lack of cooperation or documentation provided by some schools to prove they were in compliance with school security standards mandated by state law.

The commission convened to review the state’s response to recommendations made in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting in February 2018. Earlier in the summer, commission members had said they would start calling out non-compliant districts by name in August.

“We do have the results of the survey back and, again, we made progress but there are still some holes and room to comply fully with the law and to do it better,” said commission Chairman and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. 

“We’ve made improvements, and I’d say significant improvements just in the last two months from where we were at the last meeting when we talked about the unacceptable number of schools and districts that were noncompliant with the law in a number of areas, including the one that was most concerning, I think to all of us, and that was that there was not a safe-school officer on every campus.”

Most of the talk surrounding non-compliant schools revolved around situations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“We have seen some remarkable work in some districts, we should recognize them publicly, the ones that have done remarkable work,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who serves on the commission. “The ones that haven’t need to be called out publicly so that the taxpayers, the voters, the parents of the children can see which school districts do not care for the safety and security of their children.”

The commission meets again on Thursday.

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