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Guardian Program

Districts Could Be Called Out On School Safety

Jun 6, 2019

After a state commission found out Wednesday that nearly 200 schools --- including many charter schools --- have not had armed security as required by state law, commissioners urged the Florida Department of Education to “name names and name people” to try to force compliance. 

School ‘Guardian’ Program Grows

May 31, 2019

An executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in February helped increase the number of counties participating in a controversial “guardian” program that allows school staff members to be armed on campus, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said Thursday. 

DeSantis Signs Bill Allowing Armed Teachers

May 9, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed legislation that expands the controversial school “guardian” program to allow armed classroom teachers. 

Gun Control Groups Seek ‘Guardian’ Bill Veto

May 8, 2019
Man standing with weapon
Manatee School For the Arts

About a dozen activists with two gun-control advocacy groups dropped off a stack of papers with 13,000 signatures at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office Tuesday as they urged him to veto a bill that would allow armed classroom teachers. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign a proposal would allow public and charter schools to carry guns in the classroom, although many school districts are unlikely to arm instructors.

Florida Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing More Armed Teachers

May 2, 2019

More Florida classroom teachers could carry guns in school under a bill passed Wednesday by state lawmakers, the latest response to last year's mass shooting at a Parkland high school. 

Senate Poised To Take Up School Safety, Toll Roads

Apr 16, 2019

In two of the highest-profile issues of the 2019 legislative session, the Senate on Wednesday is slated to take up proposals designed to bolster school safety and build or expand three toll roads. 

More than a year after the Parkland high school shooting, emotions continue to run high at the Florida Capitol as lawmakers consider school-safety proposals that would expand a controversial “school guardian” program and allow trained teachers to be armed.

The House Education Committee on Thursday approved its version of the bill (PCB EDC 19-02) along party lines, following heated back-and-forth between Republican lawmakers who support the guardian program and teachers who testified that they oppose having colleagues carry guns.

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.

Florida's top incoming legislative leaders are rejecting Gov. Rick Scott's push to redirect $58 million so school districts can hire more campus police officers. The lawmakers say the state should stay with a program they crafted that puts armed security guards and staff members in its public schools.

Pixabay.com

The news that 17 people, including young teenagers, had been gunned down in Parkland while going about their school day on Valentine’s Day this year sent shocks of outrage, anguish and calls to do something to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

One result is a new law that says schools must have someone carrying a gun, sometimes called a school resource officer, who could respond in the event of a shooter on campus.

Polk County Sheriff's Office / Facebook Live video

Many Tampa Bay area law enforcement agencies are acting in what officials call an abundance of caution by increasing their presence in and around schools in the final days of the school year. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

St. Petersburg will not take 29 police officers off the street and place them in elementary schools. The city – following suit with Hillsborough and Pinellas counties - will instead hire armed security guards.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is never at a loss for words or opinions on criminal behavior. He has recently played a major role in the response to the school shooting in Parkland.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk with Sheriff Judd as part of our ongoing “Newsmaker” series.


Polk County Sheriff's Office Facebook

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our ongoing "Newsmaker" series. We talk with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd about a number of issues, including the programs his department runs that train and arm staff members in schools to fend off active shooters.