SWFL residents weigh in on debate over arming teachers in schools

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People in downtown Fort Myers expressed many different opinions when it comes to arming teachers in schools.

“There’s no one that’s going to protect those children better than them,” said SWFL resident Kay Bohls. “I think if the teacher has been trained and has a permit to carry, I think it’s just fine.”

But others don’t share the same views.

“I think having any kind of gun in the school is definitely a bad idea,” said Fort Myers resident Michael Perrella.

This comes at a time the country is at odds on how to keep students safe. On Saturday, President Trump showed his support for arming teachers with a tweet, saying “armed educators love our students and will protect them.”

So how do educators feel about this issue?

“I just think it’s an absolute foolish idea,” said Mark Castellano with the Teachers Association of Lee County. “It is looking so far in the wrong direction for a solution.”

Castellano says budgets are already tight for other resources they need to help kids. He’d rather see funds used on other things that are vital for education.

“Guidance counselors, speech language pathologists, school psychologists—these are the people we need. These are the resources we need,” he said.

In a school safety plan announced Friday, Gov. Scott said he disagrees with arming teachers. His plan focuses on more law enforcement officers at schools.

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