At the School Board Meeting of July 19, 2023, the School Board unanimously approved agenda item H-4 proffered by Dr. Steve Gallon III, regarding weapons on school campuses and district-owned properties. The item directs the Superintendent of Schools, in direct consultation with the School Board General Counsel, to review current School Board Policy and procedures governing weapons on school campuses and district-owned property, and to recommend policy and/or procedure amendments, as appropriate. The item also requests to ensure that employees are aware of relevant and required policies and procedures regarding weapons on school campuses and district-owned properties; to review procedures for screening of weapons on school campuses; review and contemplate the application and enforcement practices governing weapons on school grounds and district-owned properties by students, employees, and/or visitors; and to continue to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies and related offices in the review of policy and procedures governing weapons on school campuses and district-owned property.
Pursuant to agenda item H-4, a report will be provided to the School Board, in a manner that both complies with the Sunshine Law, where required and/or in a manner that ensures the confidentiality of district safety and security protocols, as appropriate and allowable by law no later than October 16, 2023.
The Miami-Dade County Public Schools remains committed to ensuring the safety, security, and overall well-being of students, staff, and members of the community. This has been and must always remain a priority of the Board, Superintendent, school, and district staff, as well as parents and members of the community. In doing so, the School Board must continue to review and adopt policies that support the implementation of various strategic and innovative safety and security measures and approaches that reflect both best practices and those required by law.
Recent issues and legislation pertaining to gun ownership and possession are poised to cause even greater concern and consternation for the School Board, district officials, and school personnel. One such conflict has already been determined as it relates to policies governing weapons on school grounds and recently adopted legislation governing the possession rights of gun owners in the state of Florida. Any matter of weapons on school campuses and district-owned property is a matter of utmost concern and importance to the School Board when such presence on school campuses and district-owned property could provide access to such weapons by students, visitors, and/or even trespassers. The present conflict in enforcing current School Board policy demands consideration by the School Board and review by the Superintendent of Schools.
“I am proud of my colleague’s unwavering and collective commitment to the safety and security of our students and schools as reflected in the unanimous support of this item,” said Dr. Gallon. “As a Board, district, and community we must be proactive and remain vigilant in matters involving the health, safety, and welfare of our children and youth. This action will enable us to take deliberate, intentional steps to align our policies and ensure best practices as we protect our schools, classrooms, and students from weapons.”