Focus on the Legislature

The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill allowing more teachers to carry firearms in school with the approval of local districts, in the latest response to last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. By a 65-47 margin, they voted to send the bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it. Five Republicans crossed party lines to vote against the bill, which was narrowly approved by the state Senate.

About 25 of Florida’s 67 school districts are participating in the “Guardian” program, but school boards for some of the state’s largest counties say they draw the line on arming teachers.

In Seminole County, School Superintendent Walt Griffin will not participate in the program but will keep armed School Resource Officers at every school.

” As Superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS), my #1 Priority is the safety of the students of Seminole County,” he wrote on the SCPS Facebook page. “Over three years ago at my request, the Board funded an armed School Resource Officer at every school. Because of that effort, and the relationship we have with the Seminole County Sheriff and local municipalities, I will not be recommending to the Board that we arm teachers. I believe that the only armed personnel on Seminole County Public School campuses should be Police Officers. I want to assure our community that with the potential passage of the new school safety bill, my position has not changed. As additional funding becomes available, I hope to increase the number of School Resource Officers that serve our schools.”

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