John Grant: A Father’s Day Gift from Ron DeSantis
I have been a lawyer for more than 50 years and I served in the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. I’ve been appointed to the Florida Commission on Ethics three times. But none of those titles hold a candle to being called Dad and Grandpa.
Like many of you, my children and grandchildren are my greatest treasures. As the world becomes more challenging, and at times even dark, I worry about the safety of my family.
Recent actions taken by Gov. Ron DeSantis have allayed some of my fears. Just weeks after the tragic and deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Florida’s governor signed several bills into law making schools here safer for our kids.
One of the bills, HB 1421, requires mental-health “crisis intervention” and de-escalation training for on-campus law enforcement officers. The measure includes giving the State Board of Education rulemaking authority over emergency drills.
Other safety measures include practicing drills for “active assailant and hostage situations,” bomb threats, and natural disasters at least once a year. In addition to training for school police officers, 80 percent of employees at all schools will.be required to receive training in “youth mental health awareness and assistance.”
The governor has allotted more than $300-million dollars in school safety funding. The new laws go into effect July 1st.
“What I think we’ve done in Florida since I’ve been governor is make sure there’s adequate security at schools, make sure we follow the recommendations of the Parkland commission,” DeSantis said.
The Parkland Commission was set up in 2019 following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed by a disturbed classmate on Valentine’s Day 2018. The commission has been recommending extensive mental health training since then and the governor heard their recommendations and warnings loud and clear.
We can no longer ensure our kids will have a carefree and worry-free childhood in America. But we can pass legislation that increases security protocols, so children can feel protected and safer when they go to school.
As a father and grandfather, I want to thank you, Governor DeSantis, for this gift. While it’s just in time for Father’s Day, it’s appreciated by all parents and grandparents with tiny treasures of their own.
As the founder of Seniors Across America, I will fight for laws that safeguard our seniors. And I stand with the governor in support of legislation that protects all residents of our great state.
View article on Florida Daily here.