Florida governor signs bill allowing more armed teachers

The measure expands an existing school "guardian" program and allows any teacher to volunteer to carry a weapon if their local school district approves. Photo: AP

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that will allow more classroom teachers to carry guns in school, a response to last years mass shooting at a Parkland high school.

DeSantis signed the bill in private on Wednesday (May 8) and issued no statement. It was one of the more contentious bills of a legislative session that ended Saturday. The measure expands an existing school “guardian” program and allows any teacher to volunteer to carry a weapon if their local school district approves.

Volunteers must undergo police-style training and a psychiatric evaluation. Under current law, only teachers who also have another role such as sports coach are eligible to carry weapons on campus. The bill makes other changes to a school safety law enacted after 17 people were killed in February 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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