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New Florida Gun Laws Can Affect Some Teachers

October 13, 2019

Some teachers in Florida can carry guns on campus starting October 1, 2019.

The act is part of the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program under the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in May. The bill was inspired by the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2017. 

The bill lets school districts implement at least one school-safety officer, such as a school resource officer, law enforcement official, a school security guard or a school guardian, per public school.

In 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission founded the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, named after the Parkland faculty member who was killed in the attack. The program works to arm teachers and staff hired as guardians in case of an attack. A guardian is a hired guard or personnel on school that is armed. 

According to the Florida Department of Education, guardians must pass psychological and drug screenings and complete at least 144 hours of training. 

39 out of Florida’s 67 counties are participating in the program so far, including Broward County, despite the school board’s initial plan not to. 

“I don’t think teachers should carry guns. I think it could potentially be more dangerous if [guns] aren’t handled by trained law enforcement officials,” said AP seminar and US history teacher David Dainer-Best.  

The bill allows for teachers to arm themselves anonymously for safety, but it doesn’t require them to. Districts don’t have to join the program if they don’t wish to. Miami-Dade public schools, the biggest public district in Florida, has chosen not to.

“No, I would not carry a gun,” Dainer-Best said.

1 Comment

One Response to “New Florida Gun Laws Can Affect Some Teachers”

  1. Peter Wayne on October 18th, 2019 8:50 AM

    It’s like you said, the Florida Department of Education says teachers have to pass psychological and drug tests and complete 144 hours of training. That’s pretty thorough. I’m fine with a teacher who I trust like Mr Vargas or Mr Corradino brought a concealed weapon to school. We live in Florida, concealed carry is much more common than most people think. And the great thing about the bill is, students won’t know the teacher has a gun. It’s called concealed carry, so it won’t dusturb normal classroom activities. If the teachers have to go through 144 hours of training to be a guardian, I don’t think they will be “potentially more dangerous”. The CDC states that normal civilians prevent about 2 million crimes using guns each year, That means guns are used to prevent crimes 5480 times per day. And each day roughly 32 people use a gun to kill another person, while 238 use a gun to save their life or someone else’s. Food for thought.

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