Marjory Stoneman Douglas school board won’t be arming staff members
PARKLAND, Fl. — Marjory Stoneman Douglas and other schools in the Broward County School District will not be arming its teachers, the school board announced on Tuesday.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High is the same school where 17 students and staff members were shot and killed February 14 when a lone gunman opened fire.
Since the shooting, there has been a nationwide debate on how to best protect our students while on school campuses. Some, including some of the survivors of the attack, have called on lawmakers to pass stricter gun control legislation, while others say the only way to keep students safe is to arm those in the schools themselves.
The state of Florida recently earmarked $67 million for the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which was named in honor of one of the coaches killed in the school shooting. The money will be used to train school personnel who are willing to carry guns, ABC reported. Those who do carry must undergo a psychological exam and complete 132 hours of gun training.
The armed teacher idea has not gotten much traction in the education community down in Florida, which was evident at the Broward County School Board meeting.
“As one school board member under no circumstances do I believe in a teacher should have to utilize a weapon in school,” said Patricia Good.
But there is state money on the table, and the Broward School Board wants it spent on armed school resource officers.
“We should definitely launch a campaign to persuade the governor for those district who do not want to arm their employees that they give us the money to keep kids safe in other ways.”
Board members also stressed more money is needed for mental health issues.