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Arm teachers? Not in Palm Beach County schools

Palm Beach County schools won’t be arming teachers anytime soon.

Florida legislators may have passed a bill Wednesday giving teachers the right to carry a gun on the job. But Palm Beach County’s school district opted out of the voluntary move with a resolution last year.

“We have 225 fully credited police officers, and we’re hiring more,” district communications director Claudia Shea told Boca Voice Thursday.

The district has hired 80 fully accredited officers since the beginning of the school year for school safety, school board chairman Frank Barbieri Jr. said to the press Wednesday.

“Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law, enabling school districts wishing to take part in the voluntary Guardian program to arm those teachers who pass a 144-hour training course,” according to Reuters wire service.

Palm Beach County’s resolution says in part: “Teachers are not trained law enforcement officers and should not be asked or incentivized to keep weapons accessible in their classrooms.”

“Florida’s House of Representatives voted 65 to 47 to pass the bill after hours of debate over two days in which the Republican majority thwarted Democratic efforts to amend, stall or kill the measure. Florida’s Senate approved it 22 to 17 last week,” according to the news service.

The bill follows the killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018.

By Marci Shatzman

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