The Florida Occasions-Union contacted faculty board leaders across Northeast Florida to gauge their thoughts on arming academics. Here’s a take a look at their responses:
The Duval County Faculty Board already opposes arming academics.
“The varsity board doesn’t help deputizing or otherwise arming faculty personnel,” stated the resolution handed final yr. “As an alternative the varsity board believes applicable responders to high school emergencies must be FDLE credentialed, sworn, full-time regulation enforcement personnel.”
Laureen Ricks, a faculty spokeswoman, stated the board isn’t changing its stance. “This stays the board’s position,” she stated. “Our present Faculty Security Assistant Plan allows the district to offer a robust security presence without arming academics and different faculty employees whose main job duties relate to schooling and faculty administration.”
That security assistant plan entailed adding armed faculty security assistants to each elementary faculty. Center and excessive faculties throughout Duval already had useful resource officers.
The modifications got here in March 2018 when the preliminary guardian bill was launched. On the time, the Duval County Faculty Board voted 6-1 towards arming faculty employees.
Clay County Faculty Board Superintendent Addison Davis stated academics should only be armed with funding and help. “While I perceive the will for our legislature to offer solutions, I personally can’t help arming classroom academics,” he stated. “As an alternative, our academics ought to be armed with further funding, inspiration, and the required assets to improve educating and studying, finally creating an surroundings the place every scholar feels valued.
“The educating career is already a particularly demanding and essential subject,” he continued. “It doesn’t make sense that we danger distraction from this work by asking academics to also be chargeable for defending area with probably deadly action.”
The Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement and the FBI lately signed off for the Clay County Faculty Board to start out its personal police department.
Clay joins 15 other faculty districts statewide with faculty police departments, together with Duval County.
Clay County voters accepted a $1 property tax fee improve in August to go toward state mandated faculty security enchancment. The increase is predicted to generate between $10 million and $eleven million yearly, whereas the varsity police drive’s startup costs are expected to be $6.1 million. The varsity police division will embrace 47 personnel, including 36 faculty useful resource officers.
Betsy Reagor, of the Clay County Schooling Affiliation, maintains that guns haven’t any place in lecture rooms. “The Clay County Schooling Association adamantly opposes the arming of academics,” she stated. “Growing the number of guns in faculties won’t maintain our students safer. Growing the number of weapons in faculties won’t maintain our staff safer.”
ST. JOHNS COUNTY
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