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FL – CAMPUS GUNS – Florida begins arming teachers as large school districts rebuff controversial program

Teachers in seven Florida county school districts will soon be locked and loaded thanks to a state law enacted this month that provides schools with the option to allow teachers to carry concealed guns. The law expands on a safety measure known as the “guardian” program. The program was created in response to the February 2018 Parkland massacre but did not allow teachers to carry guns, in part due to the recommendation of former Gov. Rick Scott. Under the original law, guardians were either non-instructional personnel who volunteered, or employees–such as school resource officers– hired specifically to protect students. “That initial program [said] everybody except classroom teachers … could be armed. With the recent legislation, our board approved to train classroom teachers to be able to further protect our students,” said Dylan Tedders, the assistant superintendent of Okeechobee County. Okeechobee, a school district with roughly 6,600 students, is one of seven districts taking advantage of the new option to arm teachers. Tedders explained that school districts must first vote in favor of it and then teachers have to volunteer. The other six districts arming teachers include Bay, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Putnam and Suwannee counties. Tedders said their first priority is protecting students.  [full article]

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