Florida Senate passes bill expanding armed teachers program


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Senate passed a bill that will expand a program that allows some teachers to carry guns in schools.

The Senate passed a school safety bill 22-17 on Tuesday that makes changes to a law enacted last year after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland.

While the bill addresses several school safety issues, the most contentious is a provision that makes all teachers eligible for the "guardian program" that allows them to carry guns in schools. Right now, only teachers that have a role outside the classroom, such as an athletic coach, can participate.

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School districts would have to approve participation in the program and teachers would have to volunteer, undergo psychological evaluations and be trained by a sheriff's office.

Orange County Public Schools approved a resolution in March to oppose the bill allowing teachers to be armed in the classroom.