Senate panel approves bill allowing armed teachers in Florida

(Associated Press)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida teachers who voluntarily undergo firearms training and mental evaluation could be permitted to carry guns in classrooms under a bill approved by a state Senate committee.

The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee voted 5-3 for a broad school safety bill containing the armed teacher provision.

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Teachers would only be eligible for the so-called guardian program if their local school board approves and they meet the other criteria.

The bill is a reaction to the February 2018 massacre that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. It also contains expanded student mental health services and sections regarding physical hardening of school campuses.

The Republican-led committee defeated Democratic amendments to remove teachers from eligibility as guardians and permit parents to opt their children out of armed classrooms.