Almost one yr in the past, lawmakers stood on the ground of the Florida Legislature and wept whereas they debated how they need to respond to the Parkland massacre. Within the House, the talk lasted eight hours.
The question over who ought to be armed in faculties proved probably the most divisive challenge. It triggered friction between then-Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders, splintered Democrats and stoked painful conversations about race as black lawmakers feared that students of shade might be focused.
After the proposal to permit academics to hold guns sparked a backlash, lawmakers selected to arm some faculty personnel however not classroom instructors.
This yr, lawmakers have revived the thought of arming academics — and it is gaining help. A invoice increasing the prevailing “Guardian” program, Senate Bill 7030, handed via a key committee Tuesday, which suggests it might be one of many first payments all the Florida Senate will contemplate as soon as the legislative session begins March 5.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital entry to the Miami Herald
“I would like somebody there to protect my eight grandchildren and their era,” stated Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala. “They need to have someone ready.”
Yet whereas Republican lawmakers are building a consensus on arming academics, staunch opposition to the thought stays elsewhere in Florida.