While the bill doesn’t require teachers to carry guns, it does expand the guardian program to allow teachers to carry guns. Florida created the guardian program, which allows some staff to be armed, last year. The current program only allows teachers with roles outside the classroom, such as coaches, to participate, according to CBS Miami. The school districts must approve of the program to allow teachers to volunteer.
The bill also recommends strengthening mental-health services at schools and improving communication between schools and law enforcement. To volunteer, teachers must undergo psychological evaluations, background screenings and training, including active shooter situation training. Senate Democrats tried amending the bill to keep it from going forward. They claim that the bill doesn’t consider parent’s rights, saying it doesn’t provide parent’s the option to pull students from classes taught by armed teachers. The Florida House is considering a similar bill, but it has not come to the floor for a vote.
Importance of Florida Senate Bill
One of the main justifications for this bill is the Parkland school shooting. Both students and teachers were exposed to a vicious individual for far too long because no one inside had a means to fight back. At the same time, the officer on campus didn’t go in to stop the shooter. There is some debate on why, but the reason doesn’t really matter that much. The one person on campus with the means to stop the shooter didn’t go inside and try. It’s just that simple. Multiple armed and trained staff increases the chances of someone being willing and able to stop a mass shooting.
Is there a potential for problems? Absolutely, but there are potential for problems in anything. The commission highly recommends arming teachers for the very fact that teachers are there, already being advocates for students. If this becomes law, they will also be able to defend those students.