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Manatee County delays vote on whether to arm teachers

Posted at 4:00 PM, Apr 09, 2019

BRADENTON, Fla. — School board members in Manatee County delayed their vote on whether to arm teachers for the 2019-2020 school year.

The vote, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday night, will instead take place Tuesday, April 23.

Other school districts including Hillsborough and Sarasota voted against allowing teachers to carry guns.

Manatee County school board member Scott Hopes said arming teachers will ensure safety of the district's students and staff. Hopes said the program would be voluntary and teachers who participate would be required to go through specialized training.

He believes more guns on campus would have saved lives in Parkland.

"Had any one of those adults on campus, employees had they been able to defend themselves many lives would have been saved,” Hopes said.

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Manatee Education Association President Pat Barber said she is against the measure.

“We don’t think that is the answer, teachers already have enough responsibilities,” Barber said.

Barber also worried about firearm accidents if more guns were on school campuses.