Florida teachers can now bring guns to school

Programme has been criticised on several fronts, including from those who say the oversight and training is problematic

Teachers in some parts of Florida can now carry guns inside the classroom.

The new policy comes just over a year and a half after a gunman opened fire at a high school in Parkland, killing 17 students and staff in the deadliest high school shooting in American history. The most recent version of the programme was approved in the Florida legislature in May, after a contentious debate that included shouting and crying among politicians, the Miami Herald reports.

With that passage, teachers in some parts of the state were able to begin carrying firearms as of Tuesday, had they volunteered to do so and undergone screening and training with a local sheriff's office.

Because the teachers must carry their guns anonymously, it is unclear how many may have chosen to bring a weapon to class this week.

“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,” Bill Husfelt, a school superintendent in Bay County, told CBS News.

Bay County is located in the Florida Panhandle, and is among a handful of smaller school districts to opt into the programme. Schools in Miami-Dade County and Orlando — the state’s two largest districts — have decided not to participate.

The new policies are the latest reforms to come in the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, including placing armed officers in schools to fight back in the case of a future emergency. Funding for those officers was paid for in part through a voter-approved tax hike last year.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Florida is known for its gun-friendly state house, and the National Rifle Association has historically had a strong hold on state politicians who might push for gun control measures.

The new measure is not without its critics, including some who disagree with the policy who lost family in the Parkland shooting. Those critics argue that teachers should not face an extra burden, and should not have to worry about wielding a firearm while teaching children.

They also question the state’s oversight of the programme, and whether the training for teachers who wish to bring guns to school is sufficient.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in