Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is appointing Ryan Petty to serve of the State Board of Education.
Petty has been active on education and safety issues since the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Petty’s 14-year-old daughter, Alaina, was one of the 17 people killed by the shooter.
Following the attack, the Florida Legislature passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act (SB 7026), which set up a commission to study the causes of the shooting and recommend safety improvements in Florida schools.
Petty was appointed to the commission, serving alongside sheriffs, lawmakers and other members of the community.
The Governor also sought input from Petty and other parents of those killed in the attack in consultation on public safety issues.
Petty also ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Broward County School Board in the months following the attack. He has sharply criticized that body for perceived failures in dealing with the shooter’s disciplinary issues prior to the 2018 attack.
He was one of several parents of Parkland victims who supported the removal of Scott Israel as Broward Sheriff. After being suspended by DeSantis, Israel was removed from that role following a vote by the Senate in October.
Petty founded The WalkUp Foundation. That nonprofit organization seeks to prevent violence in schools through educational seminars, connecting campuses with law enforcement and mental health resources, and other methods.
As his day job, Petty works as the senior vice president of business-to-business products for Cable & Wireless Communications. He has also worked as a vice president of product development and innovation at ADT, Inc.
The State Board of Education aims to increase students’ educational proficiency through achievement and workforce readiness. The panel is chaired by Andy Tuck.
Petty’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate. He would serve a four-year term, if approved.