Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law a bill that will allow school districts in the state to arm teachers for security purposes, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The bill, Senate Bill 7030, expanded a previous program that allowed some school employees, with the exception of teachers, to receive training to be armed at schools.
DeSantis did not make a public statement after the private bill signing Wednesday, but over the weekend expressed optimism about what the bill could do for school safety.
“We did a lot for public safety,” DeSantis said, according to CBS News. “The Marjory Stoneman Douglas bill, people had disagreements on, but ultimately … I think we’re going to be safer.”
In order for teachers to carry on campus, teachers will have to pass a psychological evaluation and complete at least 144 hours of training.
Even though arming teachers is now legal, that doesn’t mean a majority of schools will allow it. A policy to allow armed teachers must be authorized at the local school district level. From The Hill:
Twenty-five of Florida’s 67 school districts take part in the program, including Broward County, where Parkland is located. School districts in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have all said they will not allow public school teachers to be armed, according to WSVN.
The bill does more than just allow for armed teachers. The Sentinel reports:
The bill also features other items aimed at school safety, including greater reporting of school safety incidents, a standardized risk assessment process for dangerous students, and new guidelines on school-based mental health. Those provisions have bipartisan support.
Senate Bill 7030 is the latest measure in Florida aimed at securing schools in the wake of a massacre on Feb. 14, 2018 during which a gunman killed 17 students and the response by school resource officers was inadequate.