Councilman Nelson Rodriguez proposes new Schools Safety law

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 0 Comments


Some teachers are mulling quitting their jobs in fear for their safety in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting massacre which took the lives of 17 students and teachers, according to Miami Lakes Councilmember Nelson Rodriguez.

But local police and state lawmakers are stepping up efforts to ensure the safety of teachers, students and school administrators and probe all threats to harm anyone on campus.

The Parkland massacre, the second deadliest school shooting in U.S history, has sparked the shooting victims’ families, teachers and activists to call for stricter gun laws that would prevent certain people from purchasing guns.

Even though there have been no reports of shootings at Miami Lakes’ area schools, Rodriguez is not taking any chances since the shooting massacre, is and calling on local, state and federal elected officials to sponsor a bill which would ensure school safety.

According to a memo to his colleagues and Miami Lakes residents, Rodriguez is requesting a Schools Safety and Security Bill which would provide two school resource officers at every school campus in Florida, additional funding for school psychologists and counselors and protection to school teachers, counselors and administrations during and after school hours.

He indicated some teachers might leave the profession if nothing is done to protect them and students from gun violence in public schools.

“In the past two days, I have spoken to some amazing teachers who are considering quitting the teaching profession,” Rodriguez said. “These teachers have helped mold my children into the great young adults they are today. They love, care and protect our children every day. I believe that teachers also need some love, support and protection.”

Rodriguez also informed federal and state lawmakers who represent Miami Lakes and the surrounding areas, of his proposal for heightened security at Florida schools, especially in the Miami Lakes area. 

The Coral Gables firefighter has reached out to Governor Rick Scott, Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, State Senator Rene Garcia, State Representatives Manny Diaz, Jr. and incoming House Speaker Jose Oliva, and Miami Dade Public Schools Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman, who represents Miami Lakes. 

Garcia, who chairs the Children, Family and Elder Affairs Committee, asked Senate President Joe Negron to form a task force to find comprehensive solutions to protect “our” students and teachers from gun violence.

“The task force should consider reviewing the following issues: Mental health, access to care, funding and treatment options,” Garcia said in a letter to Negron. 

Garcia also suggested hiring former military and police officers to protect Florida schools.

The shooting massacre opened the floodgates of emotions for Miami Lakes as well, where some residents’ kids knew some of the victims.

Mayor Manny Cid said the town is taking all the necessary steps to increase security measures at local schools.

“We are elevating the coalition between law enforcement and our schools,” Cid said. “Some schools may witness enhanced police presence and additional security. We also plan to take proactive measures to develop a crisis response plan in collaboration with the Miami-Dade School Police Department.”

The town organized a peaceful vigil last week in memory of the shooting victims at Picnic Park West, where parents expressed a concern over their kids’ safety while learning in school.

“The parents are concerned when they drop off their kids to school,” Cid said.

  Miami Lakes Town Police Commander Major Javier Ruiz said the Miami-Dade Police Department is working with schools police to ensure a safe and secure environment for “our kids.”

“But parents can help us by talking to our kids about this type of situation and what to do and how to handle them and always following the teachers’ orders” Ruiz said. “We all are heartbroken over the tragedy but we are lifting ourselves up and getting the work done on providing a safe environment for our kids.”

Some Miami Lakes residents offered their own solutions to prevent gun violence at local schools.

“The way that it is these days, schools need to provide some trained armed security,” said Daks Darlene. “We need to keep our schools and children safe.”

Cathy Quintana-Gonzalez said parents should be alerted when a threat is made at school for quick action.

“We, as parents, would like to know that when a threat is made it is dealt with,” she said. “In this case in Parkland, there appeared to be many signs that were there not acted upon successfully.”

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