TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign legislation allowing school boards to arm teachers.
This comes after much debate following the Parkland school shooting last year. Many Tampa Bay school districts oppose the bill altogether and prefer their school security to come from school resource officers who are highly trained to carry.
In an almost three-hour long debate Wednesday, the House voted to allow some teachers to carry guns on campus.
The bill comes with stipulations. Teachers who want to carry guns in districts that choose to join the program would have to undergo police-style training, psychiatric evaluation and drug screening. Not all teachers would be eligible to carry. Only those who have another role, such as a sports coach.
Democrats argue this is the wrong move while the majority of Republicans say it’s not a bad idea.
“Why do we believe a teacher with minimal weapons training, who’s never had to use their weapon, has the ability and marksmanship to take down an armed assailant armed with a semi-automatic rifle,” said Rep. Adam Hattersly (D).
“This bill is the ultimate school hardening law. It allows the good guy to stop the bad. It allows the good guys to defend themselves and our children,” said Rep. Chuck Brannan, (R).
This bill does not require teachers to be armed if they don’t want to. It also doesn’t force the districts to have to arm teachers. So far, there’s no official word when the governor may sign the legislation.