Arming school staff: a county-by-county breakdown

Published: May. 10, 2018 at 5:25 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A program under the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act would allow some school employees to carry a concealed firearm on campus.

The idea of arming school employees has left many Northwest Florida counties divided.

Bay County is considering implementing the Guardian Program.

District officials are gauging employee interest.

"We have got to have armed security in every school," Bay County Superintendent of Schools Bill Husfelt said. "In some schools, we're gonna need two, maybe even three depending on the size of them, but we've got to arm our schools to protect our students. We can't allow this to happen anymore. Enough is enough."

Walton, Liberty, and Jackson counties have decided against arming school employees.

All three school districts will have at least one law enforcement officer on each campus.

"I'm not saying that the Guardian Program wouldn't have worked, I just feel that sometimes life experiences and the knowledge that you gain doing this job every day gives you a different viewpoint of things," Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts said.

Holmes County has a school resource deputy on every campus.

Calhoun County discussed the issue at a workshop Thursday night.

"One of the things that we have learned through this whole process after the Parkland shooting and one of the things that's important to me as Superintendent is the safety and security of all of our students and all of our staff in each of our schools and work sites," Calhoun County Superintendent of Schools Ralph Yoder said.

Yoder told NewsChannel 7/Local 18 News he personally is against the idea of arming school employees.

However, he said he looks forward to working with the school board members and Sheriff's Office to decide what's best for students and school staff in Calhoun County.

Leaders in Washington, Gulf, and Franklin counties have not made a decision regarding arming school staff.