School safety during pandemic subject of online meeting

File photo.
File photo.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which was formed after the 2018 mass shooting at the Parkland school, meets online Monday to discuss school-safety compliance amid the COVID-19 pandemic and review issues from this year’s legislative session.

People can watch the meeting at thefloridachannel.org.

The meeting comes as a statewide grand jury impaneled after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County is seeking more time to finish its work.

The office of Statewide Prosecutor Nicholas Cox filed a petition Thursday at the Florida Supreme Court asking for a six-month extension of the term of the grand jury. That would allow the panel to continue its work until April 17.

Shortly after taking office in 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis asked the Supreme Court to impanel the grand jury to investigate school-safety issues, a request that was granted by the court.

The statewide grand jury began meeting in June 2019 for what was expected to be a 12-month period. But the grand-jury proceedings had to be suspended this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, leading to an extension of the term to Oct. 16.

“The statewide grand jury has diligently investigated the issues identified by this honorable court’s order (impaneling the grand jury), several of which have required evidence from every county in the state,” Thursday’s petition for more time said. “Despite diligent efforts --- including the issuance of two interim reports --- a significant amount of work remains in order to fully and completely investigate the subjects identified by this honorable court in its impanelment order.”