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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs school safety bill in wake of Texas mass shooting

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law on Tuesday expanding various school safety measures taken in the state following the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4d528a4ad36621d03c07dc26c19a3f5c/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law on Tuesday expanding various school safety measures taken in the state following the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

June 7 (UPI) -- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed into law a measure expanding school safety measures taken in the state following the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

DeSantis signed HB1421 into law, which expands the authority of school police officers and requires them to undergo additional training, while taking authority away from school districts and ordering the state Board of Education to develop emergency drills.

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"Every child needs a safe and secure learning environment," DeSantis said in a statement.

The measure grants school officers the ability to make arrests on charter school property, while requiring all officers to complete crisis intervention training to "improve knowledge and skills for response and de-escalate incidents on school premises" and requires them to be present and involved in active assailant emergency drills.

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It also requires school boards to adopt plans to reunite students and parents in the event of an evacuation while ordering school districts to annually certify at least 80% of school personnel have received mandatory youth mental health awareness training.

The bill further grants the Commissioner of Education to enforce, rather than oversee, school safety and security compliance.

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It further extends a Public Safety Commission that investigated failures leading to the 2018 shooting in which 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Fla.

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The legislation was originally approved in March, but DeSantis has been guiding when lawmakers send bills to his desk and waited to receive the legislation until after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last month that saw 19 students and two teachers killed.

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