[Emily L. Mahoney | Miami Herald] After about seven hours of angry, sometimes deeply painful debate about race and gun violence that spanned two days, the Florida House passed a bill that would allow classroom teachers to be armed in an expansion of the program it created last year after the Parkland shooting.
The debate at times reached a heightened pitch that had Democrats shouting or tearing up as black members delved into details about their personal experiences with racism and their deep-seated fears about minority children being targeted by teachers who have guns.
The bill is now on its way to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. For teachers and other staff to be armed, school districts must opt-in to the so-called “Guardian program,” which allows teachers and other staff to volunteer to carry a gun on campus after undergoing screening and training by a local sheriff’s office.
That amendment failed, even though some Republicans were convinced to vote for it.
“There’s a reality that some of us have, that some of you in the front row couldn’t care less about,” Jones said, referring to House Republican leadership before he began to shout into his microphone. “I asked for implicit bias training because we’re talking about black boys and girls that are getting murdered by police officers! … There are bad police officers and there are bad teachers.”
But Republicans pointed to the fact that the commission created to investigate the failings of the Parkland shooting issued a report that recommended the Legislature allow classroom teachers to be armed. Last year after Parkland, lawmakers created the “Guardian” program that allows staff to carry guns, but excluded teachers who “exclusively perform classroom duties” as a compromise. This bill would undo that exception.
Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, pointed out the fact that the law enforcement officer assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland did not engage the shooter.
“The hard truth is we never know how anybody is going to respond … what we do know is [Parkland] Coach Aaron Feis responded the only way he could and he put his body in the way of students,” he said. “The real first responders are the school staff that love our children. They are the real first responders because they are there at the time the tragedy happens.”
Continue reading here.
[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Emily L. Mahoney and originally published at the Miami Herald. Title changed by P&P.]
A CALL TO ACTION
Bringing you discernment news and commentary from a biblical, polemical perspective means it is tough out there on social media. We’re constantly getting kneecapped and constrained by tech companies who find our fidelity to the scripture and pursuit of truth to be intolerable, resulting in our reach being severely throttled.
For this reason, we ask you please consider supporting us a few different ways. The first, by liking and following our new Facebook page, our home where we share new posts and interact with our members. The second, by following and retweeting our Twitter page. The third, by signing up for our newsletter below.
And last, through direct support. You can catch our free weekly episodes of the Polemics Report by subscribing at BTWN. If you like what you hear and desire to hear more, you can get the VIP full-length version for only $5.95 per month on Patreon. Also, you get other freebies for additional monthly pledges.
Subscribe to us on Patreon here and support our ministry.
Stay informed. Subscribe Today.
When you subscribe, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts to ensure that your newsletter doesn’t go into your spam folder.
Enter your email address below…