Parents from Parkland voice concerns about Gov. Scott’s bill

Amid conflicting reports, Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered that an investigation into the response of the deadly school shooting be conducted, which led to an analysis of internal radio dispatches, security videos and other records.

That was clear as Scott faced a single-minded press corps.

Two Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students hid alone in a classroom, petrified as the sound of gunfire overtook the 1200 Building, according to a recording of a 911 call made during the February 14 mass shooting at the Parkland school.

At the Blue Oak School, a private academy with just over 110 students from kindergarten to the eighth grade, school directors are organizing a 17-minute observance nearby at Jefferson and Hayes streets 30 feet from Blue Oak’s middle school, where junior high students will hold up signs supporting survivors of the Parkland attack. The bill narrowly passed the House and Senate, which formally delivered the reform package on Thursday.

The bill has been an important political consideration for Scott, who is facing term limits as governor and is widely expected to challenge Florida’s Democratic US senator, Bill Nelson, in November’s midterm election. Scott says he wants to take his time and talk to the affected families.

In this March 7, 2012 file photo, Illinois gun owners and supporters file out National Rifle Association applications while participating in an Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day convention before marching to the Illinois state Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

“I’ve heard all the arguments for teachers to be armed and, while this bill would significantly change on this topic, I’m still not persuaded”.

At 9:50 that morning, Kesselman said, “students and teachers will leave class and walk out the main entrance of the school and gather at Lilly field at 10”. What the Senate did was a step in the right direction. “I’m sure there are NRA members that agree with this bill, some that don’t agree with this bill”. Scott had expressed hesitancy over whether he would sign the bill.

Scott said he is still “not persuaded” about the guardian program. “That’s what I want to accomplish with this”. “This time must be different”, he said.

“I’m taking and swallowing that poison pill”.

Along with these measures, the bill would allow county sheriff’s offices to establish the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, an initiative that would arm select school staff members.

But the tapes nevertheless provide a glimpse of the horror unfolding inside the school – as well as the eerie quiet in the classrooms as students hoped the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, would pass them by.

“(Scott) put his hand on a bible and took an oath to support, protect and defend the Constitution”, Hammer said in a telephone interview Friday.

“Don’t do nothing. I don’t need her to make any noise”.

“It certainly backs up that he never went into the school”, Bell said.

“Be advised we have possible, could be firecrackers, I think we have shots fired, possible shots fire – 1200 building”, Peterson says.

“Someone is shooting up the school at Stoneman Douglas”, the voice said. “As my daughter called it, it was the quote heard ’round the world”, Stargel told The News Service of Florida. “It’s her birthday today”, the mother said.

The senator called the reaction “unfortunate”. Other funding called for under SB 7026 – nearly $400 million for mental-health counseling, school resource officers, child-welfare investigators and school security upgrades – is an investment worthy of approval from the governor.

“So we’re not just thinking and praying”.

Stargel remains unapologetic for her comments, delivered during debate on the school-safety measure this week.

Wilton High School senior Emily Kesselman at a Teens Against Gun Violence rally organized by fellow Wilton student Isabella Segall on Feb. 21. — Kendra Baker