Today was the first day of a new era in Florida, where some teachers will now be allowed to carry guns while in the classroom in order to better protect students from school shootings:
CBS NEWS – Starting Tuesday, a controversial law will allow some teachers in Florida to carry guns inside the classroom. The bill was initially passed in response to the Parkland school shooting last year where 17 students and staff were killed.
We may never have an exact number of how many teachers will carry weapons because they’re supposed to remain anonymous for their safety. School districts are allowed to opt out of arming teachers, and two of the state’s largest school districts including Miami-Dade and Orlando have elected to do so, but a handful of smaller school districts are all in.
Students in Bay County Schools — located along the Florida Panhandle — may be walking into a classroom Tuesday morning where the teacher is carrying a concealed handgun.
“Everybody wants to know ‘How do we prevent it?’ How can we stop it. We don’t look at it as we want more guns, we look at it as we want more protection,” said Bay County Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt.
The schools already have an armed resource officer but the so-called Guardian Program which had allowed some staff and coaches to carry guns on campus after a background check, psychological exam and more than 140 hours of range training — now extends to teachers.
I do like the “Guardian Program” name for this, because that is exactly what it’s all about. And I like the fact that the teachers must remain anonymous so that students can’t know who is armed. Because that could be a disaster if they did.
But I do wonder what goes into teacher training in terms of when they are allowed to use the gun and when they are not. For instance, if they saw some guys pounding a student to death, risking that student’s life, are they allowed to draw their weapon? I would assume the answer is ‘no’, but if it’s a seeming life and death situation, what then? And if a teacher draws their weapon and people find out they are one of the secret guardians, do they have to then give it up because they’ve essentially been outed?
In any event, I hope that the other schools opt back in later as they see the ‘wild wild west’ that they’ve imagined isn’t coming to fruition.