U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is pushing school districts across the Sunshine State to do more to enact safety measures that he backed as governor.
This week, Scott sent a letter to school district leadership across Florida demanding action. On Thursday, Scott and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri weighed in on the issue at a U.S Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Scott’s letter can be read below:
Today, I am not writing to you just as a current U.S. senator and as your former governor; but as a parent, a grandfather, and a Florida resident. The recent report from the grand jury on the progress of many school districts’ implementation of the safety measures passed by the state for our students can only be described as disheartening. It has been 526 days since the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and just over 500 since I signed into law SB 7026, which we passed just 23 days following a day we all will never forget.
In Florida, we took swift action.
In Florida, we cut through the politics looking to divide us.
And, while nothing can ever bring back the lives of the 17 innocent souls, in Florida, we came together to make sure our schools are safe for our children. We passed substantial measures, including close to $500 million, to help to fix our schools. We worked together to provide the support needed to make our schools the safest in the nation. As the report notes, many districts have not followed through on what we fought so hard to secure.
It appears many districts have abandoned the most critical mandate constituents expect from you: to make sure our schools are safe. While this inaction may be incomprehensible to the mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers of school children who elected you to your position, I can only hope the crushing public eye hovering over your progress will motivate action now.
While the grand jury has not released which counties in Florida have failed, I have sent this to every single Florida county so all superintendents understand how critical it is that all laws are implemented today. I am deeply disappointed in how many school districts failed to respond in the wake of a tragedy when presented with an opportunity. Just remember, 17 lives were lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, and the lives of their families and loved ones are forever changed.