Legislature Could Decide if Principals Can Arm Teachers

By: Matt Galka Email
By: Matt Galka Email

December's Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn. sent shock waves throughout America, renewing a focus on school safety.

Sarasota Republican Representative Greg Steube filed Florida House Bill 1097 Wednesday. It would allow the state's school principals to decide if any one of their teachers or staff could carry a concealed weapon in the school.

Rep. Stuebe says that the bill would give principals more flexibility in arming their staff. But the Florida Association for School Administrators says the principals they've talked to aren't on board.

"Our members are not saying that they want to be the ones armed. And they're not saying that they want to have additional guns on campus unless it's coming from a resource officer," said FASA spokeswoman Michele White.

Former Leon County superintendent and principal Bill Montford also disagrees with the bill. The Democratic Senator is currently the vice chair of the Senate's Education Committee.

"Teachers, in general, are just simply not prepared to do that, their life calling is to be an educator, not a law enforcement official, and at the same time I would not want to put that burden on the principal as well," said Sen. Montford.

Steube's bill would require that anyone allowed to carry a weapon at work would have to undergo a firearms training course. A companion bill to the one filed in the House is expected to be filed in Florida's Senate by republican Alan Hays.

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