Lee County School Board votes to allow trained staff to carry guns in class

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

After many debates, Lee County schools are adopting The Guardian Program, which allows trained staff to carry guns on campus.

The Guardian Program allows school districts to hire cheaper armed guards in place of law enforcement or school resource officers.

The Lee County School Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with The Guardian Program.

Although it passed, Melissa Thompson-Mawby doesn’t like the decision. To her, more guns do not necessarily lead to more safety or security.

“We’re increasing the number of weapons on campus on school campuses. And I don’t know, many who would think, generally, that’s a great idea,” Thompson-Mawby said.

In fact, in Thompson-Mawby’s view, more guns could lead to more danger for students and teachers.

“The risk by far outweighs the known body of efficacy of guardianship programs,” Thompson-Mawby said.

The statement could be true, or it could be false, there’s no evidence pointing in either direction. That’s because Florida does not release any information about The Guardian Program, including whether trained school employees have ever drawn their weapons.

“You’re putting more guns into the school. Because there’s going to be more good guys with guns to stop that bad guy. It’s the only point where it stops. It’s the only thing that stops the death,” Lee County school teacher, Robert Daniels, said.

The Lee County School District said it anticipates that The Guardian Program could start during the next school year, but it’s got to work out all the details and train the staff. 46 other Florida school districts have guardians. Collier County is also debating adding the program.

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