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Book's School Board Term Limit Plan Shows 'Frustration' With District Safety Law Compliance

Lauren Book is a woman with black glasses and blonde hair. She sits at a desk and looks off to the left while speaking to the committee.
The Florida Channel

Democratic state Senator Lauren Book’s move to seek term limits for local school board members is a change from her previous position on the issue.

Book says part of his decision to file the bill is frustration with how school districts have handled new school safety laws.

A December Grand Jury report blasted school district safety plans. The report says district’s distorted crime statistics, didn’t properly handle discipline issues and heavily criticized their school safety plans. There’ve also been problems with enforcing a requirement that each school have a school safety officer on campus.  Book says her decision to file a bill limiting local school board members to eight-year terms is a response those issues.

“That would be fair to say," she said during an interview with WFSU Thursday. " There are several different versions of that bill that exist right now. Some of that stuff is being talked through so I don’t want to create any issues for legislation that’s pending. but I continue to be frustrated where some districts are with adhering to laws…to keep children safe.”

The state updated its school safety laws following the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland where 17 people were killed and another 17 injured. 

Book has not supported previous plans to term limit school board members. Last year, the issue died in the Senate after it failed to gain support among some moderate Republicans. Even with Book’s support, the proposal could again run into challenges in that chamber. A separate plan would limit school board members to 12-year terms.