Leon County Schools superintendent opting not to allow teachers to carry

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 9, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Not all school districts plan to allow their teachers to have guns in the aftermath of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing the Implementation of Legislative Recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission bill on Wednesday.

Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna says as long as he's in charge, he'll never allow teachers or staff to carry guns on campus. He says safety and security are always top priorities for schools, but he doesn't think this new legislation is the answer.

Hanna says in his years of experience in schools, the chances are things would go wrong.

"Philosophically, I'm just not aligned with the governor, the legislation, or Commissioner Corcoran, plain and simple," Hanna said. "I think it's a mistake to consider arming teachers or other district employees that are not law enforcement officers."

Hanna says there are armed law enforcement officers between the Leon County Sheriff's Office and the Tallahassee Police Department at every school, which has cost the district half a million dollars.

He adds there's no need for teachers, or any other employees, to carry guns, saying introducing more guns on campus would turn schools into the wild, wild west.

"I can tell you first hand that the chances of something going horribly wrong by arming non-sworn officers greatly outweighs any potential benefit that may come for it," Hanna continued. "I strongly believe that.

This year, LCS hired 50 security monitors, unarmed staff who work along side the sworn officers who patrol and monitor the school grounds throughout the day.

Hanna says he's working with teachers and believes mental health issues should be addressed. He says, depending on the budget, he's looking into other options for security at schools but says arming teachers will never be an option for him.

The Suwannee County School District has said, in part, "We have a substantial number of guardians in our schools. We're proud of our program, it's been hugely successful," and says the district will entertain adding teachers on a case-by-case, as needed basis.

The Wakulla County School District tells WCTV they will not be arming teachers and will instead be adding three new trained security officers.

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