Proposed bill in Florida Senate could allow designated concealed carry licensees to bring firearms on school property

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It's been almost one week since the deadly mass shooting at a high school in South Florida that left 17 people dead.

Now, families, educators, and state and education leaders are asking where to go from here.

A proposed bill in the Florida Senate, SB 1236, could allow school principals or district school superintendents to designate individuals with a concealed carry license to bring a firearm on school property.

The bill would also require school boards to develop policies and procedures for active shooter and hostage situations.

Alexis Underwood, President of the Association of Bay County Educators and a retired Marine, said she would not be comfortable if she were appointed to that role.

"One of the things that my drill instructor told me is that even individuals in the military, in a moment of crisis, when the gun fires for real, are going to forget what they've been taught to do and they're going to run or they're going to make stupid mistakes. I don't want to hurt a child or a law enforcement officer because a child forgets what to do," Underwood said.

Bill Husfelt, Superintendent of Bay District Schools, believes armed officers need to be in every school rather than arming teachers because he is concerned students would know how to get a hold of a teacher's gun.

"I'm worried about doing that. I know there's all kinds of ideas about doing that, but that's, that will be next year. Right now, tomorrow, there needs to be armed security in every school in this country," Husfelt said.

He suggested temporarily placing National Guard officers in every school.

Florida State Representative Jay Trumbull credits Bay District Schools for already taking precautionary safety measures.

"We are on the cutting edge of technology as far as cameras and things making sure that our schools are extremely safe," Representative Trumbull said.

He too feels that schools need armed officers and not necessarily armed licensees carrying concealed weapons.

"It would be very beneficial to our district, is making sure that we do have somebody who is a trained individual to be able to be on the school at all times to make sure that these children are safe," he said.

The Senate bill was filed toward the end of 2017 but is scheduled to be in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.