Manatee County School Board delays decision on whether or not to arm teachers with guns

District Delays Armed Teachers Discussion

BRADENTON (WWSB) - “Nearly everyone is in agreement that arming school teachers is a bad idea,” said Reverend James Golden, a Manatee County School Board Member.

The hot topic of conversation of whether or not to allow teachers to carry guns on school property in Manatee County schools discussed at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. It’s something Golden is adamantly against.

“I haven’t heard anybody say who’s going to pay for these guns," said Golden. "So now the teacher has to go buy paper and buy pencils, buy other supplies to meet the needs of the classrooms and oh by the way go and buy this 357 magnum.”

Legislation to allow teachers to carry guns has been moving along in recent weeks in Florida’s House and Senate. Manatee County School Board Member Scott Hopes says he supports the expansion of the bill for the school district to use whatever staff is necessary to protect students.

“In the past year, I think maybe we found 8 students that had brought firearms to school, it happens, they are getting on our campuses,” said Hopes.

One group, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, is pushing hard to keep guns out of teacher’s hands and out of the classroom.

“They don’t need to have added pressure to teach, I want them to focus and be in an environment that is gun free," said Makiko Felice with Moms Demand Action. "I understand the teachers need to protect the kids but they don’t need the guns to do it, we have SRO’s and a guardian program.”

Board members tabled a decision until their next meeting. That’s scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 23rd.

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