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Collier teachers resistant to carrying in class

Posted at 10:59 PM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-14 06:50:08-04

Just days after Governor Rick Scott signed a sweeping school safety bill into law, Collier County Superintendent Kamela Patton says she will discuss the idea of arming teachers with the sheriff.

SB7026 allows teachers to carry handguns in class under the legislation passed in the wake of the Parkland shooting last month.

Proponents say it adds an extra layer of security should a shooter enter the classroom.

"I wouldn't feel comfortable working in an environment where the guns are part of the tools, because it's not a tool of education," said a Collier teacher who wanted to remain anonymous.

Both the Collier and Florida Education Association oppose the measure. 

"If they want safe schools, the safest way to do that is number 1: fund mental health, and number 2: fund licensed police officers on our campuses," said FEA President Joanne McCall.

McCall said 75% of teachers surveyed statewide oppose the voluntary carry program.

The Collier County Sheriff's Office will examine the issue closely before making a decision.

"I have talked to many teachers over the past several weeks and none of them think that arming teachers is a good idea here in Collier County. This or other programs may work in other areas, but may not be the right course of action in Collier County. With the adoption of the state's new school safety plan it will be essential to work with the school board to determine their position and policy, and I will be doing that soon," Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk said in a statement to Fox 4.

Even if the district participates in the program, any teacher who wants to carry must go through 132 hours of training, and pass a psychological test.