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Thousands of people support students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in a rally for gun control at the Florida capitol (2/21/18).The Florida legislature is poised to pass some of the most sweeping gun control and mental health reforms in more than 20 years. The moves come as lawmakers face pressure from students affected by the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.On Valentine's Day, a 19-year-old in Parkland opened fire on his former classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He killed 14 students, three adults, and injured 14 others. There were warning signs, yet, all, including a tip to the FBI, were missed.That day, school safety measures in place, like school resource officers, restricted access and fencing--all failed.In the wake of the shooting, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas have mobilized, calling on the legislature to take greater action to prevent school and mass shootings. Lawmakers, it seems, are finally listening.https://youtu.be/6PRPEfu7WPg

Florida Supreme Court Convenes Grand Jury On School Safety

Florida Supreme Court building in front of blue sky
Nick Evans

The Florida Supreme Court is moving ahead with a plan to convene a statewide grand jury on school safety. 

Finding “good and sufficient reason,” the state’s highest court unanimously approved the request Monday to investigate school safety procedures.

The grand jury is charged with determining "whether refusal or failure to follow the mandates of school-related safety laws...results in unnecessary and avoidable risk to students across the state."

It will also look into whether districts are using funds as intended and accurately reporting criminal activity to the state Department of Education.

The investigation will last for 12 months, and will run throughout the state.  Members of the jury will be drawn from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Chief Judge Jack B. Tuter Jr. of the 17th Judicial Circuit will serve as the presiding judge.

Gov. Ron DeSantis asked the Supreme Court earlier this month to impanel the grand jury. He said he is pleased with the solution and he hopes the court will "identify failures and recommend solutions to keep students, faculty and staff safe."

Though similar to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, this investigation carries the force of law. The jury has the power to hand out indictments if criminal activity is found. 

Read the full order here.

For more news updates, follow Shawn Mulcahy on Twitter: @ShawnDMulcahy.

Shawn Mulcahy is a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU. He graduated from Florida State University in 2019 with majors in public relations and political science. He was previously an intern at WFSU, and worked as an Account Coordinator at RB Oppenheim Associates.