Manatee County votes to not arm school teachers

Manatee County School Board votes 3 - 2 to not arm teachers

SARASOTA (WWSB) - The Manatee County School Board voted this evening to not arm their teachers.

The vote was three to two in favor of not arming teachers in Manatee County.

“It was just amazing," Makiko Felice, a mother of two students said. “Teachers need to teach and students need to learn in a peaceful environment and this is just a great win for all of us, so we’re very happy.”

Although all five school board members say they are against giving teachers the option to carry guns, the final vote was 3 to 2 in favor to not arm teachers.

Dr. Scott Hopes and Gina Messenger were the two board members who voted against the resolution, mainly because they weren’t happy with the language of the resolution.

“I don’t want to send a message that I’m opposing this legislation that actually gives us a choice because right now we have a choice," Messenger said.

“We have 61 schools, they’re all different...let’s leave it up to law enforcement to make the recommendations, then let’s have a discussion about how we’re going to implement the recommendation,” Hopes said.

Two weeks ago the school board couldn’t make a final decision on this issue, changing the language of the resolution which was voted on this evening.

“As a former classroom teacher, I just know the roles and responsibilities of a teacher and handling a gun and being responsible for a firearm, should not be one of those roles and responsibilities,” Manatee County School Board member Charlie Kennedy said. 5

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