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Florida State Senate Approves Bill to Arm Teachers in Schools

Legislation to allow teachers to carry firearms passes state Senate with majority vote

 on 24th April 2019 @ 7.00pm
a bill to arm teachers in schools has passed the florida state senate © press
A bill to arm teachers in schools has passed the Florida state Senate

The Florida state Senate has approved a bill that would allow teachers to carry firearms in schools.

The bill passed with a majority vote and proposes to arm teachers on school grounds if local school boards agree to allow staffers to carry their firearms.

The Senate voted 22-17 to approve the bill, setting it up a vote in the state House.

Local school boards and charter school governing boards would still have to vote on whether or not they would authorize teachers to be armed on their individual campuses, should the legislation be signed into law.

Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed support for allowing teachers to carry firearms in schools.

Teachers would be armed on a voluntary basis and would have to undergo a psychological test and at least 144 hours of training before taking a weapon into a school.

The results of which would also require independent approval by law enforcement.

victims of the parkland school shooting have been campaigning for better protection of children in classrooms © press
Victims of the Parkland school shooting have been campaigning for better protection of children in classrooms

According to The Hill, the prospect of arming teachers has divided Republicans and Democrats in Tallahassee and Washington since the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead.

Republicans have said that having trained, armed teachers could prevent similar shootings in the future, while Democrats have pushed for more gun control measures.

“I must err on the side of saving a kid,” state Sen. Ed Hooper (R) told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

florida s republican governor ron desantis supports arming teachers in schools © press
Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis supports arming teachers in schools

Democrats have said having more guns on campuses will not make them safer and that schools should focus their resources on other priorities, such as guidance counselors and mental health services.

“What we are telling our teachers is if you want protection for you and your children then you do it yourself,” said state Sen. Bill Montford (D).

The legislation includes other school safety provisions, including standardizing a risk assessment process for at-risk students and proposing new guidelines on school-based mental health.

The legislation is the product of a state commission that was formed in the Parkland shooting’s aftermath and charged with finding ways to prevent similar attacks moving forward.

[RELATED] Ocasio-Cortez Calls for Gun Ban in America, Champions Government Confiscation

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tags: Gun | Florida
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