Florida teachers can now legally carry firearms in their classroom due to a recent Florida law. Florida Governor Rick DeSantis is the inspiration for this legislation. It would permit teachers to carry guns at school, but only with the approval of the school district. The legislation is being implemented as a precautionary measure in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
For the teacher to carry a gun, however, they have to pass a psychiatric evaluation and undergo 144 hours of training. The Florida government intends to protect students via this legislation so as to avoid another mass school shooting.
The law expands an existing “guardian” program adopted following the shooting last February at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland; the program permitted only teachers who served in another capacity on campus – coaches, counselors, or other staff roles – to arm themselves, and did not allow guns inside actual classrooms.
Many claim that more guns in schools make students safer. The argument is that if trained teachers are able to protect their students, it will discourage shooters from entering the schools. The unpredictability disincentivizes any potential terrorists.
On the other hand, though, many argue for more restrictions on guns in school. They claim that more guns always make a situation less safe. If a student finds a way to get ahold of the teacher’s gun, the situation is far less safe. The legislation’s implementation of teacher training will help with this issue, though.
Many teachers have signed up for training. 40 out of 57 counties will soon have trained teachers, according to the speaker of the state house.
Ryan Petty, a member of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, tells media that “This was the most preventable school shooting that I’ve ever seen data on.”
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