'Teachers with guns' bill moves through Fla. legislature - WFLA News Channel 8

'Teachers with guns' bill moves through Fla. legislature

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The Florida House of representatives K-12 subcommittee approved a bill that would allow school officials to carry a weapon on campus.

The bill would allow for principals and superintendents to pick employees who are current or former military, law enforcement or have a valid permit. The employee would need nearly 50 hours of training.

“Our teachers went into the business of teaching to change lives, to change minds, to change hearts and they shouldn't be first responders. I would rather have our teachers protecting our children instead of running to a gun fight,” said Hillsborough County School Board Chairman April Griffin.

A sister bill received approval from a Senate committee Monday. Lawmakers hope to prevent a tragedy similar to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December of 2012.

“You can't tell a criminal that has bad intentions, 'wait a minute let the police get here,'” said NRA certified instructor Rose Doyle.

“School safety and the prevention of violent crimes on our campuses should be a priority for all districts," said Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association executive direction Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins. “However, HCTA does not believe that arming our teachers and administrators will provide a safer environment and such actions send the wrong message to the children we serve and seek to protect."

Under current law, only law enforcement and school resource officers may carry weapons on campus.

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