Sheriffs, superintendents meet to discuss school safety

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Pasco County superintendent Kurt Browning share a common goal: school safety here in Florida. 

"We are so overly committed to making sure that all of our kids are safe, from Pensacola to Jacksonville, down to Key West," said Browning.

Along with other state leaders from across the state, Browning and Gualtieri met Friday to discuss how school districts and law enforcement can work together to make schools safer. 

Last month, Gualtieri told lawmakers school districts lacked a sense of urgency when it comes to school safety. 

"There are certainly some districts that are doing better than others," said Gualtieri. "We need to get everybody to 100 percent."

This comes weeks after the Parkland commission released its initial report on the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year. As schools across the state work to comply with the state's school safety bill, sheriffs and superintendents want to better implement the measures outlined in it. 

"I don't think that one size fits all. I think that it can be done," said Browning. "At the end of the day, we want to make sure that sheriffs and superintendents have this high level of confidence that our kids are as safe as they possibly can be." 

While armed school guardians are now required at all Florida schools, Gualtieri says the first focus is identifying a potential threat.

"If you can't recognize and identify a threat, that's a huge vulnerability," said Gualtieri. "Second, is when they do recognize and identify a threat, they have the ability to immediately communicate that threat to others, they give them the opportunity to react to the threat." 

Next week, the legislature will discuss a proposal that would give teachers the option to be armed and trained to act as guardians.