Teachers already have a lot on their plates these days but now #Florida educators may soon be tasked with guarding lives as well.
The Florida Senate approved a bill this week that would allow teachers to carry guns at school if they have the backing of their local school boards. The bill will now move to the House of Representatives and as it does, it’s garnering a lot of criticism, with some saying the bill would put a target on the backs of black youth.
@Newsweek reports that gun control activists quickly attacked the vote on social media, with the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence tweeting: “#SB7030 passes the Senate by a vote of 22-17 despite opposition from students, parents, and teachers. Thank you to the Senators who voted against the bill.”
Amy Donofrio of the Evac Movement decried the impact the Senate’s vote might have on students of color. “Today Florida didn’t just pass a bill to arm teachers, we signed death certificates for kids of color. We looked at factual racial bias in teacher expectations, referrals & discipline…and signed a permit to extend the pipeline to the cemetery,” Donofrio wrote on Facebook.
While some believe this won’t get past the House, the Sun Sentinel reported that House lawmakers were likely to support the bill and Governor Ron DeSantis signaled he would sign it.
The divisive Senate bill would expand on existing legislation that already allows certain staff members to carry firearms. The latest proposal would require teachers who volunteer to be armed to pass psychological tests and complete a minimum of 144 hours of training, the Sentinel reported.
Senator Bill Montford, a Tallahassee Democrat, said teachers had criticized the bill, saying they had enough responsibility already without becoming armed guards. “What we are telling teachers [is] if you want protection for you and your children then you do it yourself,” he said.
Parkland survivor Sari Kaufman also criticized the latest bill in an op-ed in the Sentinel last week. “There is no evidence that this will make me or my classmates any safer. In fact, arming teachers ignores research that shows the presence of a gun actually increases the risk to students. All arming teachers will do is increase the likelihood of gun violence in our schools.”
What are your thoughts on the legislation, Roommates? Let us know!
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh