By Larisa Svechin, Commissioner
(Saturday, November 3, 2018) – As a parent of four school-age children, safety is my priority. After the tragedy that occurred in Parkland on February 14, 2018, where 17 students and staff members were killed, Florida passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. Here are some key points of the law: 1) raise the age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18, 2) require a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases, 3) give law enforcement more authority to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit or otherwise a threat, and 4) provide additional funding for armed school resource officers and mental health services.
The last key point is what most affects the daily school routine of parents, students, and visitors to the school. If you have recently visited the NSE/SIB K-8 School, you will notice new safety measures. Middle school students must wear IDs at all times. Every person who enters the school must have their ID scanned and receive a temporary visitor pass. The school has hired English, Spanish, and Russian speaking security guards.
Some of this may seem cumbersome, but please be patient and understand that this is being done to protect our youngest residents. Please respect and abide by the direction given by Sergeant Gonzalez, and the crossing and security guards. Next time you pass the school, take a moment to recognize the love, commitment, and resources dedicated to our future leaders.