Guns for Teachers

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Guns for Teachers

After last year’s mass mur­der at a high school in Park­land, Florida, the media traced every micro-​move of a small group of stu­dents who advo­cated gun control.

What you haven’t heard much about is the recent rec­om­men­da­tion that schools should have more peo­ple with guns to pre­vent such ter­ri­ble events.

The com­mis­sion inves­ti­gat­ing the mas­sacre unan­i­mously approved its ini­tial find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions, includ­ing a pro­posal that teach­ers who vol­un­teer and undergo train­ing be allowed to carry weapons.

The 15-​member Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas High School Pub­lic Safety Commission’s report details what mem­bers believe hap­pened before, dur­ing, and after the Feb. 14 shoot­ing attack that left 14 stu­dents and three staff mem­bers dead. For the entire report, go to http://​www​.fdle​.state​.fl​.us/​M​S​D​H​S​/​C​o​m​m​i​s​s​i​o​n​R​e​p​o​r​t.pdf

The panel deter­mined that state law should be changed to allow teach­ers who pass an intense train­ing pro­gram and back­ground check to carry con­cealed weapons on cam­puses. Pinel­las County Sher­iff Bob Gualtieri, the panel’s chair­man, has argued for the change, say­ing teach­ers are often the ones who have the best chance to stop a school shoot­ing quickly.

Under a law passed after the shoot­ing, dis­tricts can elect to arm non-​classroom employ­ees such as prin­ci­pals, other admin­is­tra­tors, cus­to­di­ans, and librar­i­ans who undergo train­ing. The only teach­ers allowed to arm them­selves are cur­rent or for­mer police offi­cers, active mil­i­tary mem­bers, or Junior Reserve Offi­cer Train­ing Corps instruc­tors. Thir­teen of the state’s 67 dis­tricts arm non-​teaching employ­ees, mostly in rural parts of the state.

The state teach­ers’ union and PTA oppose the pro­posal to arm teach­ers. They argue that adding more armed peo­ple would make cam­puses more dan­ger­ous and say teach­ers should not also be act­ing as armed guards.

The leg­is­la­tion would allow school dis­tricts to decide whether to par­tic­i­pate in the Guardian Pro­gram if it is avail­able in their county. A guardian must com­plete 132 hours of com­pre­hen­sive firearm safety and pro­fi­ciency train­ing, pass a psy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tion, and sub­mit to and pass drug tests.

The Guardian Pro­gram is com­pletely vol­un­tary for a sher­iff to estab­lish, for a school dis­trict to par­tic­i­pate in, and for an indi­vid­ual to vol­un­teer to be a part of. Cur­rently, 25 sher­iffs through­out Florida have agreed to train vol­un­teers as guardians.

After last year’s mass murder at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the media traced every micro-move of a small group of students who advocated gun control.

What you haven’t heard much about is the recent recommendation that schools should have more people with guns to prevent such terrible events.

The commission investigating the massacre unanimously approved its initial findings and recommendations, including a proposal that teachers who volunteer and undergo training be allowed to carry weapons.

The 15-member Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission’s report details what members believe happened before, during, and after the Feb. 14 shooting attack that left 14 students and three staff members dead. For the entire report, go to http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MSDHS/CommissionReport.pdf

The panel determined that state law should be changed to allow teachers who pass an intense training program and background check to carry concealed weapons on campuses. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the panel’s chairman, has argued for the change, saying teachers are often the ones who have the best chance to stop a school shooting quickly.

Under a law passed after the shooting, districts can elect to arm non-classroom employees such as principals, other administrators, custodians, and librarians who undergo training. The only teachers allowed to arm themselves are current or former police officers, active military members, or Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructors. Thirteen of the state’s 67 districts arm non-teaching employees, mostly in rural parts of the state.

The state teachers’ union and PTA oppose the proposal to arm teachers. They argue that adding more armed people would make campuses more dangerous and say teachers should not also be acting as armed guards.

The legislation would allow school districts to decide whether to participate in the Guardian Program if it is available in their county. A guardian must complete 132 hours of comprehensive firearm safety and proficiency training, pass a psychological evaluation, and submit to and pass drug tests.

The Guardian Program is completely voluntary for a sheriff to establish, for a school district to participate in, and for an individual to volunteer to be a part of. Currently, 25 sheriffs throughout Florida have agreed to train volunteers as guardians.