Panel investigating Parkland shooting unanimously approves report calling to arm some teachers

A state commission in Parkland, Fla., investigating the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School unanimously approved a report on Wednesday that calls for some teachers to be armed.

The 458-page report, produced by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, makes dozens of recommendations, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and will now be sent to outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R), incoming Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisOvernight Health Care — Presented by Indivior — CDC panel approves boosters for some, but not based on jobs Biden administration begins reimbursing Fla. school officials penalized over mask mandates Michael Cohen: Trump bluffing about another White House bid MORE (R) and state legislative leaders.


In addition to recommending that some teachers carry guns, the report also calls for state laws to be revised to allow school districts to increase taxes for school security improvements and established safety precautions in classrooms.

Many of the recommendations, including the proposal to arm teachers, would require action by the governor and Legislature, the paper noted.

The report enumerates errors that occurred in response to the Feb. 14 shooting, which left 17 people dead and others wounded, and places the responsibility for reform on the state's school districts, law enforcement, DeSantis and state lawmakers.

“There needs to be a sense of urgency,” the commission's chairman, Bob Gualtieri, told the Sun-Sentinel. “And people need to understand that there’s an expectation and a rightful expectation on the part of parents: When you send your kids to school in the morning, there’s an expectation they’re going to come home alive in the afternoon and there are very basic things.”

“I am committed to making sure our re-examination of school safety policies does not end with the legislation we passed last year,” state Senate president Bill Galvano (R) said in a statement. 

Galvano told the paper that the recommendations will be taken up Tuesday at the Senate Education Committee's meeting.  

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

Florida schools are allowed, under current law, to arm certain employees, such as resource officers or administrators. 

Survivors of the shooting sparked a national movement to draw attention to gun legislation reform over gun laws this year after a former classmate opened fire at the high school in February. The survivors went on to organize the "March for our Lives," calling for an end to gun violence.