Citrus schools superintendent meets with Gov. Scott on school safety

By Kim Leoffler, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7:23 PM EST

Citrus County's school superintendent joined a group of superintendents from across the state for a round table discussion with Governor Scott earlier this week regarding school safety.

  • Gun laws, mental health biggest topics at meeting
  • Himmel came away from meeting 'encouraged'
  • Himmel, staff reviewing district-wide school safety policies

Superintendent Sandra Himmel said tougher gun laws and mental health were the two biggest topics at the meeting in Tallahassee.

“There’s a lot of things I learned about background checks after I met with several law enforcement officers at the second meeting with the Governor’s Office about background checks. And a lot of the things that happen in your life, such as Baker Acts, mental health issues are not part of the background checks,” Himmel explained.

She said Governor Scott was adamant about taking some sort of action.

“Governor Scott’s message to us was something is going to happen," she said. "That by tomorrow, Friday, that he will have things in place that he will present to the legislators. I know that he’s wanting more safety or school resource officers on campus -- we talked a lot about that -- and he also knows that there is a concern that everyone has about the background checks to purchase a gun.”

But she said just taking action is not enough, and that all superintendents also want to make sure there is enough funding from the state to implement any new policies.

In the end though, Himmel said she walked away from the meeting feeling very encouraged.

“It’s always good to hear other people’s perspective, and it’s nice to be able to go up and get the feeling when you come home that something is going to happen this time,” Himmel explained.

Himmel also said she and her staff have been reviewing Citrus County’s safety policies since last week's shooting. They had a meeting with their principals last week to discuss safety procedures, and have a safety meeting with some school staff scheduled for next week.