State Watch

Florida gov signs bill to arm teachers

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law on Wednesday allowing public school districts to arm their teachers. 

The controversial legislation is an extension of a program implemented after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people. The program allowed some school employees, excluding classroom teachers, to go through weapons training and carry firearms on school grounds.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the law signed by DeSantis would allow classroom teachers to take part with local school board authorization.{mosads}

The legislation also includes several other safety provisions, including increased reporting of school safety incidents, standardizing a risk assessment process for dangerous students and proposing new guidelines on school-based mental health. Those provisions received bipartisan support, according to the paper.

Twenty-five of Florida’s 67 school districts take part in the program, including Broward County, where Parkland is located. School districts in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have all said they will not allow public school teachers to be armed, according to WSVN.

Teachers who choose to be armed on school property will be required to undergo a psychological test and at least 144 hours of training, the results of which must be approved by law enforcement. 

Several Republicans endorsed the idea of arming teachers after the 2018 Parkland shooting. Democrats, meanwhile, have condemned the idea. 

Tags Ron DeSantis

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