School officials, parents react to legislation allowing guns on - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

School officials, parents react to legislation allowing guns on school grounds

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Many across the state are against a legislation that would allow some teachers and staff members to carry guns on school campuses.

The new controversial proposal was made on Monday by the Florida Senate panel that would allow teachers and other school employees to carry guns on Florida school grounds. Senate Bill 968 would allow school superintendents and principals to pick certain employees to carry concealed weapons on school property.

The proposal moved on despite opposition by parents, school boards and teacher unions. "To introduce weapons into schools, in the hands of non-uniform police officers I think is risky," said Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. "We have security guards and monitors and we have one of the very few police departments in the State of Florida with over 200 officers and command staff that are trained in school protection and assistance to students."

Carvalho said Miami-Dade Schools Police is backing his stance and if the proposal were to one day become law, "The school boards and other entities have an opportunity to opine and seek legal recourse if we feel in fact that the law may in fact imperil the safety of our kids," said Carvalho.

South Florida superintendents in Miami-Dade and Broward County also stood against the proposed legislation. Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said, "Having more guns in the hands of more people is not necessarily a solution."

United Teachers of Dade President Fredrick Ingram said the move is politically motivated saying the National Rifle Association, which has representatives in Tallahassee pushed the proposal and other pro-gun legislations as the new session gets underway. "We don't agree that teachers should have guns. We think that the legislation should be debating real issues; more counselors, more trust councilors, people who are in social services," said Ingram.

Parents also think state lawmakers are playing with fire. "I agree with everybody who says no. I wouldn't allow the guns to be appropriate for any teacher or anybody else unless it's a security guard," said a South Florida mother.

Under the proposal, teachers or other school employees who are chosen to carry would be required to have a background in the military, law enforcement experience or have a concealed carry license. Extensive training would also be required.

The bill which is still in its infancy stages would have to go through a committee before getting a vote in the state capital.

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