Florida Senate votes to arm teachers

5 Mar , 2018  

Florida Senate votes to arm teachers, but this would be by far the most restrictive law in terms of the amount of training required by any of the 25 states that allow staff and teachers to carry.  The 144 hours of training is 3.6 times more than in the next most restrictive state, South Dakota, which requires 40 hours of training.  From the Tampa Bay Times:

Another amendment, to remove the proposal to allow school districts to train and arm teachers, failed on a 20-18 vote, with Republican Tom Lee of Thonotosassa joining Garcia, Flores and the Democrats.

The so-called “school marshal program” would allow school districts to work with county law enforcement to deputize trained school personnel to carry concealed weapons during school hours. Gov. Rick Scott has said he opposes arming school teachers, and the program is opposed by most of the members of the 28-member Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, who fear that black students could become disproportionately discriminated against by school officials carrying firearms.

Parkland parents and students who have appeared before legislative committees were overwhelmingly opposed to arming school teachers, as is the governor. A statewide Quinnipiac University poll conducted last week said 56 percent of voters oppose the idea and 40 percent support the giving teachers firearms.

In response to that concern, the Republican majority agreed to accept an amendment by Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, to require school officials who are trained to carry weapons to also undergo 12 hours of diversity training, on top of the 132 hours of firearms training they must receive to be certified to carry a weapon in school. . . .

 


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