Florida Teachers Are Now Allowed to Enter Schools Armed

The Florida House of Representatives passed a new bill that will expand the already existing Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which is named after the assistant football coach who passed away protecting students in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting.

This is the program that allows faculty members to carry weapons, as long as they don’t “exclusively perform classroom duties” according to the Miami Herald.

The extension will now allow any teacher to carry a weapon as long as their district has decided that it’s okay. If approved by the district, then teachers will have to participate in a mandatory 144-hour training course in order to carry a weapon on campus.

Already passed through the Senate by a 22-17 majority, SB 7030 headed to the office of Governor Ron DeSantis, who signed it into law on May 8.

Executive Director of Florida Gun Rights, D.J. Parten, believes this is a good idea, saying “98 percent of mass shootings occur in gun free zones… this bill is a step in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, others such as Florida State Representative Shevrin Jones, are in opposition of this bill, said that “there are bad police officers and there are bad teachers.”

“This is not a good idea. Not only can teachers not be sure that it’s safe at all times, but if someone does get into the school it will just be a gun standoff which isn’t a good situation anyway,” junior Sophia Price said.

“Not only that, but it would make me feel less safe in school.”

Library Assistant, Mrs. Hazel Compton, felt that it is not a good idea as well.

“Our nation is faced with a lot of mental health issues and even though we can issue them a license, it’s not in the best interest because we can’t guarantee their mental health state is stable,” she said.

“I feel teachers are here to educate and provide students with learning opportunities–not to be a security officer.”

Other teachers think the idea has potential.

“It’s not the best proactive action to take, but it’s better than waiting for something bad to happen and then doing something about it,” business teacher Mr. Chet Jenkins said

Currently, 25 of 67 counties in Florida take part in the guardian program, but many claim they are not going to expand, including Broward County, where the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting took place.