PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla., -- Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that will leave it up to local officials to decide if their teachers should be armed with guns in schools, Friday. Charlotte County Teacher's Union say they are gearing up to fight back against it.
“I’m the guy that teaches them, I don’t kill them," said Bryan Bouton, leader of the Charlotte County Teacher's Union.
Bouton said that he wasn't surprised Scott signed the bill despite his initial opposition to arming teachers.
"There are things in this bill that I oppose and I’ve been pretty open about that I still think law enforcement officers should be the one to protect our schools," said Scott.
The bills states that teachers who "exclusively perform classroom duties as classroom teachers" can't carry guns on campus unless they have prior experience in the military or in law enforcement. If they don't have prior experience, they can join the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. The program is voluntary and requires 144 hours of training.
But Bouton believes if that's the case, the teachers who want to carry guns need to change their career path.
“If a teacher feels they want to carry a gun on campus, they need to get trained as a law enforcement officer and come back as a cop.”
Bouton says the Union will be meeting with the Charlotte County School Board and local law enforcement. In the meantime, students at all three Port Charlotte High Schools are planning a walk out memorial to honor the lives lost in the Parkland Shooting. The walk out is planned for 17 minutes on March 14th.