There is a new law in Florida that will allow certain teachers to carry their firearms during school hours. This is mainly in response to a bill that was passed after the Parkland shooting incident happened in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Schools don’t have to allow their teachers to carry a firearm, and each district can decide on their own what they want to do. Most school boards are responsible for deciding this matter for their districts. The response to the new law has largely been positive.
Many schools are already proactivity getting their teachers ready to be a part of this new defense and protection strategy, if they are interested. By having school personnel armed, it creates a classroom setting that allows someone right on the scene to act quickly if a dangerous person walks through the door. Hopefully, even the idea that teachers may have guns in the classrooms will prevent more school shootings from happening.
The Training Teachers Will Go Through
In order to be allowed on school grounds with a concealed weapon, the teacher must go through some specialized training to get certified. They are also kept anonymous during this process, so parents and children won’t specifically know who is armed at school. The training is 140 hours on a shooting-range, an extensive background check, drug screening, and an exam by a doctor to certify mental fitness. It’s all part of the state’s Guardian Program, which also allows security guards that are armed to be on school grounds.
12 Other States Also Allow Teachers to Conceal Carry
This seems to gradually be the direction that schools are going in to keep their students and staff safer while on school grounds. Other states have passed similar legislation to make concealed carry by teachers allowed. Those states include, Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Now, Florida is going to be a part of this new initiative to hopefully prevent mass school shootings.
Two of the Largest School Districts Not Participating
It’s estimated that 39 counties in Florida are taking part in this new Guardian Program. Not every district has jumped on board with this new change though. Two of the biggest school districts in Florida, including Miami-Dade and Orlando, have chosen not to arm their teachers at the moment. One of the reasons might be that in these two larger cities, the police response is very quick if an emergency situation arises on school property. In rural areas of Florida, it takes more time to get emergency staff on campus if a threat is called in.
These larger city school districts might change their policy in the future depending on the success of the program in other places. There will probably be lots of discussion going forward from parents, teachers, and community members who support this new law.