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Panel investigating Parkland shooting recommends arming teachers

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A Florida state commission investigating the February shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 people dead recommended on Wednesday that teachers who undergo proper training be allowed to carry firearms at schools.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted 13-1 to recommend the state legislature pass the proposal. The recommendation calls for teachers who would be armed to undergo a background check and proper training. 

The controversial idea was floated by some Republicans and advocates of “hardening” schools following  the Parkland shooting, but was criticized by teachers and Democrats.

{mosads}The Sun-Sentinel reported that Florida schools are allowed under current law to arm certain employees, such as resource officers or administrators.

“In the ideal world, we shouldn’t need anyone on campus with a gun, but that’s not the world we live in today,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a member of the commission. “One’s not enough. Two’s not enough. We need multiple people in order to protect the children.”

Max Schachter, a commission member whose son was killed in the February shooting, cast the lone vote against the proposal. He said the panel should look at alternative options, The Sun-Sentinel reported.

In addition, the panel assessed the law enforcement response to the shooting. The commission called for the Broward Sheriff’s Office to conduct an internal review of how seven deputies handled the incident, and urged law enforcement agencies to write policies that make clear officers should confront shooters.

The sheriff’s office came under scrutiny after it was revealed that the deputy assigned to the school and other deputies on the scene did not confront the shooter as the massacre unfolded.

The Parkland students were at the center of a renewed debate over gun laws this year after a former classmate opened fire at the high school on Feb. 14. The survivors went on to organize the “March for our Lives,” where thousands of people called for an end to gun violence.

Tags arming teachers Broward County, Florida Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting

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