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Parents and students alike are sharing their comments, concerns, and opinions over the new gun law that the state of Florida has passed. According to the Washington Post,”the original guardian program allowed some school staffers to carry guns on campus. The expansion allows classroom teachers to be armed, as well.”

There are certain rules and guidelines that must be met though, in order for school staffers to carry. It’s mandatory for the teachers themselves to volunteer. The specific school district must also approve the measure. Lastly, all participants are required to go through extensive background checks and have psychiatric evaluations done on them.

Any teachers that would like to be armed must go through a gun-safety training course alongside with a sheriff’s supervision.

The bill passed the House this past week, and passed Senate back in April. The elected individuals voted pretty consistent with their parties, as expected. The bill was suggested by a group of people concerned about the cause of the Parkland shooting, which happened a little over a year ago in Florida.

The governor of Florida is aware that some people may be leery of the new bill, but he is confident that it will be beneficial to everyone, at the end of the day. He’s hoping for safer schools and communities. Educators, parents, teens, state officials, “home to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, including the sheriff, have rejected the program,” says the Washington Post.

Parkland survivors are speaking up and speaking out against this bill. One girl in particular is saying that this bill is doing the opposite of keeping schools safe. She’s afraid that later generations will not only be fearful of gun violence in schools, but any possible threats from guns being carried by school officials.

In addition to the Parkland survivors/family members, some Democratic officials have claimed that this new bill could endanger students instead of protect them, especially kids of color.
As the bill was discussed among republicans and democrats, there were ideas thrown out to require all teachers to go through an implicit-bias training course. One man in particular used police violence as an example. He said since there’s cops shooting black boys and girls, that is a possible reality for teachers who may have something against people of color.

As of February of this year, 25 sheriffs have been added to the guardian program, with millions of dollars already spent. With the new bill, there are reports of $2 million going towards weapons, and an extra $3 million going towards the salaries and benefits for the school officials that are being required to enroll in training courses.

“This is another egregious example of the undue influence the gun lobby was given during the creation of the guardian program,” state Sen. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa) told the Orland Sentinel. “Every dollar spent by districts on firearms and ammunition is another state dollar not being put toward school hardening, mental health services and the hiring of SROs [school resource officers].”

This new, and expanded guardian law has implemented new ways for schools to share information about students transferring, with a background that might be of concern. It also has provided more funds for mental health services, that would benefit everyone at school.

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