A new bill has been approved by the Florida House committee that would allow the arming of teachers in classrooms.
The Sun-Sentinel reports the bill, gives educators the option to carry weapons on school grounds. The legislation was made following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year. It also indicates that educators must have the approval of the school board before carrying a weapon school grounds.
For the teachers who volunteer, they are required to pass a psychological test as well as a drug test, participate in 144 hours of firearms training, and hold a valid concealed weapon permit.
The law was passed on Thursday (March 21) and advocates of the legislation believe that it would work to make the school safer while critics of the law have rejected it and do not feel as though teachers should play the role of law enforcement personnel in these schools. The main proponent for the legislation, as the Sun-Sentinel reported, Republican Rep. Jennifer Sullivan of Eustis advocated strongly for the law.
“The more people that are there to defend students, to defend other teachers, the better. If a teacher does not want to go through the program, I don’t want them to go through the program.” On the other side of the spectrum, Democratic Rep. Susan Valdes of Tampa had this to say, “teachers want to teach children and broaden children’s minds. If they wanted to be a cop, they would have gone to the police academy and become a cop.”