Fla. law to arm teachers advances despite Democrats’ objections


Armed teachers could be on their way to Florida school campuses.

A bill to allow school principals  to designate school employees to carry concealed weapons for security passed the Florida House Judiciary Committee Tuesday to provide what its sponsor called a way to protect children from school violence when police aren’t able to.

“This is not something that’s a foreign concept to the defense of our children,” Rep. Brad Steube, R-Sarasota, told the committee.

Steube cited numerous other states that allow arms on campus, including Democratic bastions such as California and Hawaii.

The bill passed on a party-line vote, with Democrats opposing it after testimony from the Florida School Boards Association, the Florida Association of School Administrators, Florida PTA and other groups.

“This bill sends the wrong message … to our young people,” SBA Executive Director Wayne Blanton said. Allowing authority figures such as coaches, principals and teachers to be armed on school grounds would encourage students to want to be armed themselves, he said.

teachers-with-guns“Coach has a gun, why can’t I have a gun?” he said.

But Steube said it’s just a question of safety. Citing a 2002 study, he said school shootings are usually over within 15 minutes, many under five minutes. That’s too quick for responding police officers to intervene. At the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in December, he said, police officers didn’t arrive for 20 minutes after the carnage began.

“The incident’s going to be over before law enforcement gets there,” he said.

The bill requires any school employees authorized to carry weapons to undergo 40 hours of weapons training – the same as that required for armed security guards – as well as four hours of qualification instruction annually.

“If you’re OK with school resource officers and OK with armed security guards” you’re OK with this, Steube said

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Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at jpjsaunders@gmail.com.
About Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at jpjsaunders@gmail.com.

  • Rich

    This is what teachers are allowed to fill impressionable children's minds with according to a recent article.

    A father in Duval County, Florida has alleged that his son’s fourth-grade teacher instructed students to express — in crayon — their desire to trade rights guaranteed in the Constitution for a feeling of added security.

    The concerned father, Aaron Harvey, says his son and other kids in his son’s class had to scribble: “I am willing to give up some of my constitution rights in order to be safer or more secure.”

  • KB Cook

    After they arm teachers, maybe they want to add Civics class back to the curriculum.

  • http://Bizpac Ted

    I think that the idea of a cop in each of the schools is much better than the armed teacher idea. Teachers are there to teach. If you want them to be body guards, pay them more money. This would require a whole new level of tasking for the teachers. The police on campus is better because these people are professionals. Just there being there, generally, is a deterrent (Columbine, excepted). Add a tax for this. I'd pay it. All my children are out of school, but, I think the kids are worth it. You could rotate the duty for line officers or use the positions to hire semi-retired police and sheriffs. I think using the cops/sheriffs is the way to go.

  • Doug Hanks

    Reading, Writng and Range Finding.

  • kateinmacclenny

    It is a deterrent, this is good. If you don't know who has a gun in school, you may not attack, abduct, kill children.

    Cheryl Sabb of Duval County DID allow a left wing attorney to subvert her students and we don't know how many years she's been doing this. She IS Chair of the School Advisory Council. She knew exactly what she was doing and what this attorney was doing to these children-she allowed it and supported it!

    She hides behind the union and did not give up her union protection.

    She is too much of a coward to carry a gun. You'd have to attend training to be permitted. The union and democrats opposed to protecting children and teaching them the reasons and responsibility of weapons are pathetic.

    ALL schools, facilities, and institutions should be gun-free zones, so parents can protect their children and those paid to be in schools put children first not union benefits.

    Death penalty convictions is too good for cretins that would hram innocence.

  • http://Www.americanherd.com endurachek

    Gun Free Zones are for morons. Or the PC police. And more importantly a Gun Free sign invites whack-jobs as they would prefer no resistance because they are cowards.

  • ed

    I think this is a wonderful idea. This will save lives if an attack occurs. Why is it that Democrats oppose anything reasonable?

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  • Steve Vernon

    Thank you Rep. Greg Steube. This is a Gun Bill that makes common sense. This Bill could save lives — when a madman attacks our kids I want someone fighting back with a semi-automatic vs a pair of scissors.

  • Stacy

    And when a disgruntled teacher decides to shoot up the school or a student beats the hell out of his teacher and steal their gun and shoots up his class you'll be singing a different tune. You're making situations like this more readily available and would happen much more often than a random crazy who spends months preparing for a school shooting. Yes open up the can of worms.