Fla. House Panel Approves Bill Funding Security at Jewish Day Schools

Citing a rash of anti-semitic threats, the Florida House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously approved a measure setting aside $1.5 million to enhance security at all Jewish day schools in Florida.

Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, said since the beginning of the year there has been a dramatic rise in anti-Semitism. He said there had been 154 bomb threats reported at Jewish schools around the country, and 17 reported in Florida.

Appropriations documents show the measure, HB 3653, would benefit students in preschool through high school. Florida has 35 Jewish day schools in nine counties.

Fine mentioned there were no such schools in his district, but he felt the issue had statewide importance.

“We have a situation that Jewish students are very afraid and beginning to drop out of the schools,” Fine said. “It would put in security precautions so students and parents will feel safe having students attend these schools.”

Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, asked what security measures would be put in place with the funding.