TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) — In just a few days, school security measures will tighten across the state.
A new law that focuses on mental health and emergency care training will come into effect Friday.
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“Nothing we do will bring our loved ones back. The thought of more families going through the tragedy we had to go through is just too much,” said Ryan Petty, a Florida parent.
Ryan Petty lost his 14-year-old daughter in the shooting of Marjory Stoneman Douglas four years ago.
“School attacks happen. They randomly shoot at anyone they see or try to kill, and unfortunately that includes our educators and our children,” said Petty.
That’s why he’s happy that a new school safety law will come into effect this week.
“I can speak for the Parkland family. It means the world to us,” said Petty.
The new law gives the Commissioner of Education the power to enforce school security, rather than just enforce it. It requires all school officials to undergo crisis intervention training and it dictates that police officers participate in all active emergency drills.
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At least 80% of school staff must have completed mental health awareness training.
“If they don’t do their job, they can be penalized, so in other words, take your job seriously or you’ll face consequences,” said Heide Janshon, a teacher at Pasco County Schools.
Janshon says these new requirements are critical, especially for security officials.
“They dropped their guard and all of a sudden it was like, ‘What? Is there an active threat? I was just going to get coffee,'” Janshon said.
Both Janshon and Petty say they are looking forward to the changes.
“If they don’t interact with the students, they don’t even have a chance to see someone with mental health issues,” Janshon says.
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“If you see something, say something and report it and get your administrators and the school’s law enforcement officers involved,” Petty said.