Teachers in Florida Can Carry a Firearm in School

Clay Curtis
May 13, 2019

Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that will allow more classroom teachers to carry guns in school, a response to last year's mass shooting at a Parkland high school.

The Guardian also checked out 25 of the largest school districts in Florida and found that none were planning to allow teachers to be armed in the classroom.

The $130 million Family Empowerment Scholarship program was a top priority for the Republican-led Legislature and DeSantis, who signed it during a ceremony at a religious school in Miami Gardens, a city with a predominantly African American population.

The 15-member Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission's 446-page report details what members believe happened before, during and after the February 14 shooting attack that left 14 students and three staff members dead and 17 wounded.

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The commission recommended schools use as many eligible staff members as possible to become Guardians.

Mother shot by son, 9, feared he was a killer
The Associated Press is not identifying the victim because to do so would identify the child. I do feel in my whole heart the teachers and principals did everything they could do'.

On the topic of accountability, DeSantis said if the programs were unsuccessful or problematic, there wouldn't be a wait list to get into private or charter schools on scholarships. "They are funding a bonus scheme instead of fair, competitive salaries that will allow us to recruit and retain teachers and school staff", said Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram. School districts have to approve and teachers have to volunteer. The current program is more limited in who can participate, in most cases specifically excluding teachers.

However, several school districts in our state that have embraced the Guardian program, have not embraced this law.

"Florida lawmakers claim they passed this bill for the victims and survivors of the shooting at Parkland, but they have ignored many concerns for student safety", said Sari Kaufman, a Parkland survivor and a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The Associated Press quoted Gualtieri saying, "People need to keep an open mind to it as the reality is that if someone else in that school had a gun it could have saved kids' lives".

The measure also contains a number of other school safety measures, such as wider disclosure of certain student mental health records and mental screening of troubled students. The Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program was created a year ago in honor of the Parkland football coach who sacrificed his own life to protect his students during one of the worst school shootings in American history.

As it stands, Florida law already requires schools to have at least one armed person on site, which is often a school law enforcement officer.

Reportedly, the law will put into practice recommendations made by a commission formed after the Parkland Shooting previous year.

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