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USA Today

Florida Dumb: Law to Arm Teachers

AP reports: Proposed state law would arm educators, putting our kids at risk

Kris LaGrange's picture
May 02, 2019

With the entire nation on pins and needles over school shootings, this generation is experiencing a tragedy that no other generation has. As a parent of two young school-aged kids, every morning I am concerned for my kids’ safety at school. Just ask the parents at Parkland and Sandy Hook. They thought it would never happen to them, but it did. In the Empire State, which is home to some of the best schools in the nation, we passed the Red Flag bill. This is a good first step in tracking would be shooters in our schools. Some idiots in New York toyed with the idea of arming teachers, but we realized what a stupid idea that was. Don’t take this the wrong way, but anyone who knows teachers knows that they are not all perfect. A few slip through the cracks and have no business molding young minds, especially in states with low teaching standards.

Now here comes Florida or should we rename the state FLORI-DUH. As the AP reports below, this stupid bill would allow educators to be armed. This is probably the dumbest idea ever. It’s Florida folks, I know. Many jokes start with, “A man from Florida…” but let’s get serious. It’s not the kids fault they were born in Florida. We here at UCOMM stand in strong solidarity with the Parkland voters. These kids will help remove Trump from the White House in the next Presidential election and laws like NY’s red flag law will be debatable issues going into the Presidential election. The only problem is, will these kids survive another school year and be able to vote in the next Presidential election if their teachers “accidentally” shoot their students. This law is stupid. Let Governor DeSantis know by clicking here.

More Florida classroom teachers could carry guns in school under a bill passed Wednesday by state lawmakers, the latest response to last year’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school.

The Republican-led House voted 65-47 on Wednesday to send the bill to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it. The measure expands an existing school “guardian” program to allow any teacher to volunteer to carry a weapon if their local school district approves.

“It allows the good guys to stop the bad. The bad guys will never know when the good guys are there to shoot back,” said Republican Rep. Chuck Brannan of Lake City, a retired law enforcement officer. “The guardian is the last line of defense. He or she will be there when a police officer is not.”

Teachers who want to carry guns in districts that choose to join the program would have to undergo police-style training, psychiatric evaluation and drug screening. Under a law passed last year immediately after the Parkland shooting, only teachers who also have another role, such as sports coach, are eligible to carry weapons on campus.

The bill comes after 17 people were killed by a rifle-toting shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018. Nikolas Cruz, 20, faces the death penalty if convicted of those slayings.

Yet new Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, who was appointed by DeSantis after the suspension of former Sheriff Scott Israel in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, said in a letter Wednesday to the local school board and superintendent that he opposes arming teachers in schools.

“This program would place students, teachers, and first responders at risk, when our focus should be on keeping our children safe and making schools places where students feel they belong,” Tony wrote. “Teachers enter that profession to educate children, not to serve as school security.”

Most Democrats voted against the bill, contending that introducing more weapons into schools would place children at risk, raise the dangers of mistaken shootings and even lead to more violence against African American students because of inherent biases. Several mentioned an incident Tuesday in Pasco County along Florida’s west coast in which a police officer assigned to a middle school had his gun discharge in a cafeteria. No one was hurt.

“We see accidents happen every day,” said Rep. Susan Valdes, a Tampa Democrat. “This is not the answer. Don’t put more guns in our schools.”

The bill was strongly opposed by teachers unions, and school boards in some of Florida’s most counties have voted against joining the guardian program, preferring instead to leave the security job to trained police officers. But the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Jennifer Sullivan of Eustis, said it was the best opportunity to protect schoolchildren from future shooters — and noted it was purely voluntary for teachers to become armed guardians.

Click here to read more from the AP.

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