Parkland school district votes against arming teachers

Author: CBS News
Volunteers hang banners around the perimeter of Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla., to welcome back students who will be returning to school Wednesday two weeks after the mass shooting that killed 17 students and staff. (Susan Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Leaders of the school district that includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward County Public Schools, are officially saying no to arming teachers, CBS Miami reports. That decision comes despite the new law that would allow gun carrying inside schools for certain teachers and other school employees.

In the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17, the Florida state legislature has earmarked $67 million to train school personnel, or at least those who were willing, to carry guns. The law is named after Aaron Feis, the football coach and security guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who was one of the 17 killed.

“We should definitely launch a campaign to persuade the governor, for those districts who do not want to arm their employees, that they give us the money to keep kids safe in other ways,” said board member Robin Bartleman.

Board members stressed more money for mental health issues and quickly voted down arming teachers inside Broward schools.

“As one school board member, under no circumstances do I believe a teacher should have to utilize a weapon in school,” said board member Patricia Good.

The idea of arming teachers, part of the Aaron Feis Guardian Act, has never received much traction in the education community, despite that President Trump suggested arming “highly adept” teachers in a speech one week after the shooting.

“I have not met one teacher or one student who is in favor of arming teachers in Broward County,” said board member Laurie Levinson.

Ryan Deitsch‏, one of the Stoneman Douglas students who spoke at the March 24 March for Our Lives for gun control, tweeted after the vote “please do not use Stoneman Douglas as the example for the need of granting firearms to school staff.”

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