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Lee Schools to vote on program that allows armed employees on campus

Posted at 8:03 AM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-07 08:03:41-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — School employees carrying guns could soon become a reality for the School District of Lee County.

On Tuesday the school board will vote on whether to approve a program that allows armed personnel on campuses.

It’s a program some counties in Florida have already adopted, and now Lee County is considering it.

The Florida Department has worked with schools in the state to implement it.

It’s called the guardian program, and it was established in 2018 as part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

Some schools that have implemented it say having armed school employees is the best way to keep students safe to respond to a threat like a school shooting.

The Lee Schools has dealt with a list of events in the past year that includes swatting calls and online threats.

If the board approves it, this means full time school employees who enroll in the program could be allowed to carry a firearm on campus.

There are very specific guidelines for employees who choose to take part.

Guardians must complete over 140 hours of training that would be provided by the sheriff’s office, and pass a psychological exam and drug screenings.

If approved Lee Schools says employees who perform classroom duties like teachers will not be allowed to enroll in the program, but it is open to other workers on campus.

More than 40 counties across the state have the guardian program in place, including Sarasota, Hendry, and Hillsborough.