Florida teacher arrested for loaded gun in backpack told reporter: 'Ask DeSantis'

A Florida fourth-grade teacher who was arrested for allegedly having a loaded gun in her backpack told reporters asking why she brought weapons to school to ask Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisBacklash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics WHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report MORE (R).

“Talk to DeSantis,” she said, blocking her face from cameras using an envelope. “Your governor.”

Betty Jo Soto, 49 was arrested on charges that she took a handgun, two knives and seven rounds of ammunition to Starkey Elementary School in Pinellas County on Monday, WFLA reports.


After posting $500 bail, Soto left jail Monday night. A video shows her being flocked with questions about why she brought the weapons to school. Her response appears to reference a new law recently signed by DeSantis that allows school districts to arm teachers.

The district reportedly said Soto was acting “suspicious” and carrying her backpack with her everywhere. The principal said she was acting odd and notified authorities, according to WFLA.

Police reportedly said all the weapons were in her classroom where students are present.

Two weeks earlier, DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill that allows public school districts to arm their teachers on school property. Participating teachers will have to undergo a psychological test and at least 144 hours of training.

The bill is an extension of a firearms program implemented after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people.