Florida Schools Are Now Allowed to Arm Teachers

A Florida law allowing schools to arm teachers went into effect on Tuesday.

The bill was approved by the state senate in May, as an extension of the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, named after the football coach who died while shielding Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students during a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018.

School districts are now empowered to authorize teachers and employees to carry firearms on school grounds, ABC affiliate WFTS reported.

MORE: Dem Rep Describes Terrifying Experience Holding an AR-15: ‘It’s As Heavy As 10 Moving Boxes’

Teachers who are approved to carry would have to undergo background checks, psychiatric evaluations and specialized training.

Several Florida school districts have reacted to the bill by voting not to allow teachers to carry guns on campus.

The policy of arming teachers was floated by President Donald Trump shortly after the Parkland shooting and was later among the recommendations made by a commission formed to investigate the attack.

Parkland activists push back against arming teachers

However, officials in Broward Country, home to Parkland, as well as some survivors of the shooting, joined gun control activists and a number of Florida educators and Democrats in opposing the law, which they worried would be counterproductive.

David Hogg, a Parkland shooting survivor who has become one of the nation’s most visible gun control activists, spoke out against arming teachers last year.

“Arming teachers does just about as much as thoughts and prayers to reduce gun violence,” he tweeted in December.

Schools in 14 other states have allowed teachers to carry guns.

MORE: California Teacher Melts Down Over Why She Shouldn’t Be Armed — Goes Viral

Arroyo High School, a public school in southern California, had its own shooting scare in 2003, but the armed student was tackled by two classmates before any shots were fired.

In May, a video that appeared to show a teacher explaining to her class why she should not be given a gun went viral.

The 18-second clip was posted to Twitter by Ryan Fournier, the cofounder and chairman of Students for Trump. He said the unnamed teacher worked at Arroyo Grande High School in California.

“How do I say this,” the teacher says in the video. “I’ve had students before who if I had a gun on me, I might be like really tempted to pull it out and shove it in your face.”

The classroom then erupts in cries of shock, and the footage – apparently taken on a student’s cellphone – ends.

“Liberalism at its finest,” commented Fournier.

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