Q&A – Politics Over Protection In Florida Schools

Today’s entry - I’m glad Florida allows trained-volunteer armed school personnel. “There has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting, let alone a mass public shooting, at a school that lets teachers carry guns,” states the research paper entitled, “Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns are Extremely Safe: Data on the Rate of Shootings and Accidents in Schools that allow Teachers to Carry.”

Bottom Line: You and the research paper are right. As Florida’s Democratic party has launched a $4 million statewide campaign to attempt to pressure local school districts not to allow teachers to opt into the Guardian program, the debate is ramping up once again. As this school year ends, plans for the next one across the state begin almost immediately. There’s a full court press to pressure the 25 school districts of Florida’s 67 school districts that have approved of allowing teachers to participate in the Guardian Program.

The study you’re citing, which demonstrates what I’ve paid rhetorical homage to previously, is that we’ve not had one documented death due to shooting in a school that enables educators to carry. Given that 25 states, aside from Florida, allow educators to carry with varying programs in place. It’s not as though Florida’s attempting the unknown. In fact, Florida’s Guardian program is the most intense and restrictive program of any of the state programs in place to enable educators to carry. Lost in this entire conversation is that this recommendation came out of the Majority Stoneman Douglas Safety Commission. Why? Because they want to make our schools less safe? Because they want to put our kids in harm’s way? No, because the facts are clear on this issue. Just as the study demonstrates. 

The facts clearly indicate that educators trained as Guardians can aid school safety. But this is an emotional and political argument for many. Not one that’s based in facts or reality. And that’s what’s troubling from an analytical perspective. If our South Florida school districts aren’t even willing to consider the facts when it comes to school safety, what other poor decisions are being made arbitrarily? It’s why it’s important that we remain engaged with our school boards, our schools, and educators.

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Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images



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