Guardian Program

Leon Superintendent Rocky Hanna stands at a podium on the Florida Capitol steps with fist raised. He is flanked by protesters with signs protesting gun violence.
Bob Howard/flickr

School districts are working to make sure students and educators have a safe learning environment when classes begin.  Districts have to comply with school safety laws enacted after the mass shooting in Parkland. Requirements include having armed guards on campus.

A sign bearing the names of the 17 people killed during the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (3/24/2018)
Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

A statewide Grand Jury investigating school safety says “numerous” districts aren’t complying with school security laws. The report comes weeks before the start of a new school year.

Wakulla County Sheriff's Office / Facebook

Gadsden County Schools is among the latest districts to sign up for the state’s Guardian Program. That brings the number of districts planning to have armed personnel to 33. However, Gadsden won’t be arming classroom teachers as allowed under a new state law. 

An empty classroom with blue metal chairs in three rows
Bonnie Brown / Flickr/creative commons

The number of Florida School Districts that want teachers to carry guns is growing. Nearly half the districts in the state have signed up for the so-called “Guardian” program and more have signaled they intend to do so. 

Two bald men in dark suits pose side-by-side in a wood paneled office
Governor's Press Office

A member of Florida’s public school oversight board is taking a stand against arming teachers. In Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting Michael Olenick called the move “wrong”. 

A sign bearing the names of the 17 people killed during the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (3/24/2018)
Lydell Rawls / WFSU News

Florida lawmakers are responding to a report on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland with a measure that addresses concerns raised in the 480-plus page report. Lawmakers say it’s "a good bill, but"—noting a divide over one portion that gives districts the option to allow classroom teachers to carry guns. The measure is now going before the full Senate amid controversy over the issue.

Wakulla County Sheriff's Office / Facebook

Florida legislators are likely to pass a bill this session that would allow classroom teachers to carry guns while in school. But the Wakulla School Superintendent doesn’t support it.

Clinger Holsters / Flickr

Just over a year since the Parkland school massacre, a comprehensive response on how to best prevent a future tragedy remains a work in progress, at least in the Florida Legislature. Before a key committee Thursday, the question boiled down to this: would parents be comfortable with placing their children’s safety in the hands of an armed teacher with eight hours of active shooter training? Although some insisted the answer to that question would most likely be “No!”, lawmakers kept moving in that direction.

Florida Senate

Incoming Senate President Bill Galvano stands by his decision to keep funds in the so-called Guardian program.

This comes after Governor Rick Scott asked the Legislature to move the remaining funds to school districts so they can hire more officers.