DELAND, Fla. — As Spectrum News 13 continues to cover Tuesday's devastating school shooting is Texas, state and federal policies that are supposed to Florida protect schools have also come to the forefront.

Florida House Bill 1421 is aimed at addressing school safety and student mental health, but at least one education professor says more needs to be done.

What You Need To Know

  • Florida House Bill 1421 addresses school safety and student mental health

  • It requires, among other things, that law enforcement participate in assailant emergency drills in schools

  • Every Florida legislator voted to pass the bill

  • If signed into law, it will go into effect July 1, 2023

Dr. Rajni Shankar-Brown is a professor and endowed chair of social justice education at Stetson University in DeLand. She is teaching future educators before they ever get into the classroom.

"I really became a teacher to instill hope and be part of the change that is needed in our world," she said. "For me, teaching is an embodiment of hope."

In times where many educators may feel unsettled with another mass shooting in a school, she reminds her students looking to go into education to hold their head up high.

"I think there’s so much hope when we look at the goodness of people, and there’s still goodness and we can never lose sight of that, even in the midst of pain," Shankar-Brown said. 

Florida House Bill 1421 will require that law enforcement takes part in assailant emergency drills in schools. It will also require the Department of Education to release an annual school safety report, and require 80% of school personnel to be trained in youth mental health awareness.

Officials say the goal of the bill is to address transparency around school safety and security, while also touching on student's mental health. While Shankar-Brown said it is necessary, she doesn’t think it will solve the larger issue of mass shootings in schools.

"This is just a step," she said. "There’s a lot more work that has to be done. It’s not just about training teachers and school administrators about safety. That’s vital and important, of course, but it’s more than that."

Shankar-Brown said she hopes the public and lawmakers can make real changes to address gun violence so mass shootings in schools never happen again.

"We cannot lose sight of how imperative it is that we work on the systemic and structural change to prevent this from happening again," she said.

The bipartisan bill is expected to be signed into law, at which point it will go into effect July 1, 2023.