JACKSONVILLE, Fla — During a Tuesday meeting, Duval County School Board Member Lori Hershey took questions from concerned parents about the guardian program in Florida.
The program was introduced after the Parkland School shooting in 2018, with the hopes of eliminating the threat of an active shooter situation. At the time of passage, there was opposition from teachers and parents who objected to the idea of arming teachers.
DCPS says they aren’t looking to arm teachers at this point, but there have been talks to expand the program on the state level.
“Our education commissioner for the state of Florida has said his goal is to expand the guardian program.”, Hershey said.
Hershey says in 2018 the Duval County School Board passed a resolution to have armed people on campuses, but not teachers.
Travis Akers, who has two children in DCPS schools believes the district should keep it that way. Teachers aren’t currently armed in DCPS, and Akers believes it’s a bad idea for schools to go down that road.
“I think to prevent tragedy, we must have strong school safety, but arming teachers isn’t the solution,” says Akers.
We spoke with DCPS Chief of Police Greg Burton about the type of training guardians have to go through including training with the sheriff’s office.
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He says right now, the program that they have in place is doing well.
“I think they receive very good training. So I think it’s very beneficial, the program as we have right now,” says Burton.