School Safety

TALLAHASSEE, Fla A proposal that would allow school administrators to designate a teacher to carry a gun around school had its first hearing at the Capitol Monday. There are school officials saying more guns aren’t the answer.

Strict Federal and State laws ban guns by anyone who is not a cop in school zones. But a proposal to allow principals to pick a teacher or staff member to carry a gun on campus is gaining traction at the Capitol.

Rep. Dennis Baxley of Ocala, “We’ve absolutely made students a target, we didn’t plan on it that way, but that’s the way it’s turned out.”

Baxley says the hope is that arming a teacher could prevent a tragedy like Sandy Hook from happening in Florida. “We have a lot of people; national guard men and women, people that are in school administration and school instruction that are perfectly equipped if we can empower them.”

The selected gun carrier would have to meet training requirements. The candidates would be former members of the military, police force, or anyone with a concealed weapons permit.

Wayne Blanton says the bill isn’t getting any support from the Florida School Board Association. “It allows young people to say ‘if my teacher has a gun or my coach has a gun why can’t I carry a gun?’ That is the wrong message for impressionable young students.”

A bill from Rep. Dennis Baxley touts common sense punishment for kids who make guns out of pop tarts moved through the Capitol last week. Blanton says putting a real gun and not a pastry around kids could lead to more problems. “I think that there would be more instances of things that would happen and could go wrong when more people have guns on campus.” His solution: a school resource officer in every school in Florida

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement estimates that it would cost more than 2 million dollars to train all designated school employees in the state on all three courses.


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