Florida governor calls for grand jury probe of school safety
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked the state’s Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate safety measures in schools across the state.
Surrounded by family members of the Parkland school shooting victims on Wednesday, Gov. DeSantis said that a grand jury would look into any potential wrongdoing by the school districts and ways to improve school safety.
“As the one-year anniversary of one of the darkest days in Florida history approaches, it’s clear more needs to be done,” DeSantis said. “What’s truly devastating is that the tragedy in Parkland was avoidable.”
The announcement, which fell on the eve of the one year anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, followed a meeting between the governor and victims’ families and community leaders.
DeSantis said the group is calling for the suspension of the school district’s superintendent and board members, but it was “not clear” if he had the power to do so.
Robert Runcie, the Broward County Public Schools superintendent, has said that he welcomes any review or investigation into all the state’s districts.
“I agree with Governor DeSantis for wanting to know how all school districts in Florida manage money and security issues that impact school safety,” Runcie said in a statement obtained by CNN affiliate WFOR. “What we learn individually and from each other will make us all better and will benefit our students and teachers.”
School Board Chair Heather Brinkworth told CNN she welcomed the petition for review. “I am as concerned as every parent that our schools are safe places for our students to learn,” she said.
Earlier on Wednesday, DeSantis also announced that he was directing the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to prioritize the establishment of a threat analysis strategy to help prevent mass attacks in the state.