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Florida Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, Everytown Respond After Senate Education Committee Passes Bill That Would Allow Teachers to be Armed

February 12, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following response after the Florida Senate Education Committee voted to advance Senate Bill 7030, which would expand the Guardian Program established in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act by allowing teachers to be armed and forcing law enforcement to implement Guardian Programs.

“This is a slap in the face to Florida’s brave educators and law enforcement officials, who overwhelmingly oppose the idea of arming teachers,” said Gay Valimont, volunteer leader with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our lawmakers must know by now that arming teachers is incredibly risky and does not solve the root causes of gun violence in schools. It’s time for them to stop pushing policies that we know will put our children more at risk and finally focus on evidence-based practices that intervene before a potential shooter ever brings a gun to school.”

“We’re doing everything we can to make our voices heard yet our lawmakers still ignore our efforts to save Floridian lives,” said Jovanna Liuzzo, a recent high school graduate and volunteer with the Florida chapter of Students Demand Action. “We don’t want our teachers to be armed, we want common-sense gun laws to make sure that people with dangerous histories don’t have access to guns in the first place.”

Most school districts in Florida have not implemented the Guardian Program, which has no record of proven success. Yesterday, the nation’s two largest teaching unions – the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association – joined Everytown in opposition to proposals to arm teachers. The organizations released a report of recommended school safety practices that approach school gun violence from all angles with a focus on keeping guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories and plans that address the health and safety of students.

Research indicates that arming teachers will make children less safe. For this reason, school safety experts, teachers and law enforcement officials across the country oppose arming teachers. The National Association of School Resource Officers, the largest organization of school-based law enforcement officers, also opposes arming teachers.

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