Parkland’s School District Votes to Opt Out of Program Arming School Staff Members

The Florida school district that includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland voted Tuesday evening to opt out of a state program arming certain staff members at schools.

The state’s Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which was introduced after the February 14 school shooting that left 17 people dead, support staff and coaches—but not teachers—to carry a gun on campus if they pass a psychological exam and take more than 100 hours of training. Florida set aside $67 million for the training program, according to CBS Miami.

The program was named after a Marjory Stoneman Douglas coach who was killed protecting students, and its proponents argue that Feis might not have died if he had had a firearm.

According to ABC News, the program was initially intended to be eventually expanded to include teachers. But from the beginning of the national gun debate that followed the shooting, the Parkland students vocally opposed the idea of arming teachers. One of the student leaders, Emma González, called the idea “stupid.” The students’ objections caused lawmakers to back down, despite the urging of the NRA.

CBS reported that the Broward County school board quickly voted down the question of arming staff, and the board members instead talked of requesting that money to “keep kids safe in other ways.”

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