GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Today, Governor Ron DeSantis touted Florida’s success in maintaining order and ensuring student safety on Florida’s campuses. In Florida, pro-Hamas encampments were disbanded in minutes, and Jewish students were kept safe from harassment.

“In Florida, we prioritize order and student safety on campus,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “While other states allowed their college campuses to be vandalized and taken over by antisemitic agitators, Florida held the line.”

“The Florida Highway Patrol is proud to protect citizens from the intentional and unlawful criminal actions and antisemitic behavior that threaten the safety of our college campuses and communities,” said Executive Director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Dave Kerner. “Through the direction and support of Governor DeSantis, Floridians can rest assured that FHP will not tolerate antisemitic agitators and will not stand on the sidelines, but instead will take immediate action to ensure public safety from radicalized intimidation and violence.”

“Over the last few weeks we witnessed a descent into chaos across the country,” said Chancellor of the State University System of Florida Ray Rodrigues. “Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, we were able to maintain law and order by taking necessary security measures. Campus presidents had every resource at their disposal to protect all students and ensure that no student missed his or her 2024 commencement ceremony. Antisemitism will not be tolerated at our universities in the free state of Florida.”

Governor DeSantis also directed colleges and universities in Florida to ensure commencement ceremonies are not canceled or disrupted. To view the memo, click here.

Additionally, Governor DeSantis further announced support for the following budgetary items to provide student safety funding:

  • $569 million for K-12 school safety funding;
  • $20 million to protect Jewish Day Schools; and
  • $20 million to protect Florida’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Governor DeSantis will approve this funding when he signs the Focus on Florida’s Future budget for 2024-2025. Since 2019, Governor DeSantis has invested a total of $1.4 billion for all K-12 student safety initiatives for public school and Jewish Day School campuses. This includes nearly $196 million for school hardening and over $43 million for security guards and security infrastructure at Jewish Day Schools.


Additional Student Safety Measures

This week, Governor DeSantis signed HB 1473, which makes improvements to school safety across the state. In part, this bill:

  • Requires classroom doors and gates to be locked at all times;
  • Streamlines the process for former law enforcement officers to become school guardians;
  • Mandates instruction to students on using the Fortify Florida tool, which is the state’s anonymous tip reporting tool; and
  • Prohibits the operation of a drone over a school campus or Jewish Day School.


Protecting Jewish Students

Following the terror attacks in Israel on October 7th, Governor DeSantis directed the State University System of Florida and the Florida College System to waive certain transfer application requirements for Jewish students at schools in other states who have a well-founded fear of antisemitic persecution at their current institution.

Executive Order 23-242 did the following:

  • Waived credit hour requirements for transfer applications that would typically affect first-and second-year postsecondary students.
  • Waived application date windows for transfers that would otherwise burden academically eligible students who are seeking to flee discriminatory circumstances.

Additionally, Governor DeSantis urged colleges and universities to use, at their discretion, their existing statutory authority to grant out-of-state tuition waivers on a case-by-case basis for those students who may face financial hardship when transferring to a Florida postsecondary institution from another state.


Florida Again Ranked Number One in Education

Florida is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the number one state in the country for education for the second year in a row. For more, click here. Florida is also ranked number one in the country for the eighth year in a row for higher education. For more, click here.




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