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First Coast Connect

1/7/19: School Safety; Medical Marijuana; Cole Pepper

Duval County Public Schools headquarters

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission submitted its report to the state last week. It’s more than 400 pages long, and goes into detail about what led to the February 14, 2018 tragedy – and what could be done to prevent a school shooting in the future. 

We spoke to Commission Chairman and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri about the findings.

Florida schools have been working to meet a new school safety law that was passed after the shooting, which puts limits on gun access and mandates a school resource officer in every public school.

Credit Heather Schatz/WJCT
Dylan Phillips and Sam Boyd in Studio 5 with Melissa Ross

Florida schools have been working to meet a new school safety law that was passed after the shooting, which puts limits on gun access and mandates a school resource officer in every public school.

In Duval County, there’s a lawsuit over armed safety assistants that are being placed in local public schools.

Local parents have joined with the state’s League of Women Voters in the legal action - their argument is that only sworn police officers should be carrying a weapon in schools. Dylan Phillips, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, also joined us along with Sam Boyd, a senior staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to discuss the report and lawsuit in more detail.


Medical Marijuana

According to a new report, the use of medical marijuana is steadily rising in Florida, where approximately 136,000 patients statewide received marijuana certificates from their doctors in the first nine months of 2018. Daniel Locke, Managing Partner at Compassionate Alternative Care; Sally Kent Peebles, Partner at Vicente Sederberg; and Colby Wise, Campaign Coordinator with Floridians for Freedom, joined us with their thoughts on the future of cannabis in Florida.

Jaguars And Alabama/Clemson Preview

Cole Pepper joined us to explain where the Jaguars went wrong this season and discuss this evening’s National Championship Game for the College Football Playoff between Alabama and Clemson.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

Heather Schatz can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.

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Heather is the senior producer of WJCT 89.9 FM talk shows including First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, the Florida Roundup and What's Health Got to Do with It?