The Florida Senate approves a measure to arm school teachers

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The Florida Senate approves a measure to arm school teachers Students participate with a sit-in in the classroom held nationwide to protest against violence by firearms, before the White House in Washington DC, United States, on March 14, 2018. Students, teachers and parents perform a 17-minute national strike in memory of the 17 people shot dead on February 14 at a Parkland institute in South Florida, and in demand for greater control of arms sales. EFE / Archive

 Miami, Florida – The Florida Senate on Tuesday approved a controversial bill that allows teachers who want to go armed in schools, although they should previously receive the appropriate training and pass a psychological evaluation.
The state Senate approved with 22 votes in favor and 17 against Bill SB-7030, which includes, among other things, arm teachers in schools.

The legislator Anitere Flores was the only senator of the Republican Party, which dominates both chambers, which voted against the bill, and added to the sense of the vote of all Democrats.
The idea of ​​this measure, which is also expected to be approved in the lower house, emerged after the shooting that killed 17 people and left another 15 injured in a school in Parkland (South Florida) in February 2018.

Its main driver is Republican Senator Manny Díaz of Hialeah Garden, who defends the hypothesis that the killing could have been avoided or at least reduced the number of deaths if the teachers had been armed.

According to this law, teachers who voluntarily wish to be armed in the school will have to complete a course of one hundred hours of training under a special program in the use of weapons.
Several civil organizations, teacher unions and parents of students are opposed to this controversial measure that essentially transforms the teaching staff into law enforcement officers.

However, state Senate President Bill Galvano, the Republican, said the legislation improves coordination among education staff, law enforcement and mental health staff to “ensure that at-risk students receive the help they need before it happens. a tragedy”.

“The seconds are important when a shooter is arrested.” This legislation will ensure that willing school personnel, including classroom teachers, have the training and resources necessary to be the last line of defense between an innocent child and a violent criminal aggressor. “, He said.

The governor of Florida, Ron DeSAntis, presented last February a security plan based on the recommendations made by a commission formed after the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and that included the presence of armed guardians.

On the other hand, a law passed in 2018 in the wake of the Parkland shooting increased the minimum age for acquiring a weapon from age 18 to 21 and imposes a three-day waiting period for most long-range weapon purchases. .
The self-confessed author of the killing, Nikolas Cruz, 20, a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, faces 17 counts of first-degree murder. (EFEUSA)

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