PARKLAND, Fla. (FLV) – Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Education Ryan Petty reacted to Vice President Kamala Harris’ claims regarding gun violence in schools.
“Instead of addressing the crisis of gun violence in our schools, extremists are spending their time trying to prevent students from learning our full history,” Harris said on Twitter.
The vice president delivered remarks in Jacksonville last week regarding Florida’s new African American school standards.
Petty, who is the father of Alaina Petty, a 14 year-old victim who was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, responded to Harris’ comments, exclaiming “Florida has done more to prevent targeted violence in schools than any state in the nation.”
“We protect our schools like the Secret Service protects you,” Petty continued in his thread response to the vice president.
Petty pointed to the preventative action steps Florida has taken to protect schools such as threat management, armed law enforcement and “Guardians” at “every Florida school.”
In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a permitless carry measure into law, which includes additional school safety measures.
The law mandates the Department of Education create a behavioral threat assessment tool tailored to Florida, a threat management site and a statewide behavioral threat management operational process.
The measure also permits private schools to collaborate with a security or law enforcement agency to appoint one or more safe-school officers.
In response to Harris, Petty also pointed to warning apps like Fortify Florida, which allows people to report information to law enforcement and school officials to identify threats early.
“We’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve physical security and track violent activity on our school campuses. And we made it a felony to threaten a school,” Petty said in response to Harris.
Petty said these measures “are working.”
“We’ve averted dozens of potential attacks. And we work together at the state and local level to stop anyone targeting our schools before they step foot on campus,” Petty said.
Petty called out Harris and said he has “personally made several trips” to Washington, D.C. to try and “share what we’ve learned since Parkland.”
“But your administration isn’t interested in solutions to school violence. You want to demagogue gun control,” Petty said.
He added that “attacking” Florida’s school safety efforts post the tragic Parkland shooting was a “terrible idea,” and questioned Harris’ team.
“How could your team not know about our work and especially our work with the Secret Service & schoolsafety.gov? Who is advising you and running your social? You should fire them,” Petty said.
The newly-approved guidelines for African American History in schools, which passed by the Florida Board of Education last week, have faced backlash from critics, which sparked Harris to announce her Friday visit to Jacksonville.
Harris called Florida’s new African American school standards a “purposeful and intentional policy to mislead our children.”
“And these are the people, these extremists so-called leaders, who all the while are also the ones suggesting that teachers strap on a gun in the classroom instead of what real leaders should be doing and being engaged in reasonable gun safety laws,” Harris said Friday.
Critics claimed page six of the new African American History guidelines, which stated instruction would include “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit,” was “inaccurate.”
However, creators of Florida’s new African American school standards called it “disappointing” that people are criticizing the new guidelines “without context.”
DeSantis said Democrats like Harris “have to lie about Florida’s educational standards to cover for their agenda of indoctrinating students and pushing sexual topics onto children.”
“Florida stands in their way and we will continue to expose their agenda and their lies,” DeSantis said.