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Tampa Bay area school districts pledge to not arm teachers if Gov. DeSantis signs bill

Posted at 12:50 AM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 07:06:04-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Leaders across several Tampa Bay school districts issued letters Thursday proclaiming intentions to not arm teachers if approved by the governor.

Senate Bill 7030, which has now passed both the Florida Senate and Florida House, would allow teachers to volunteer to carry a weapon on campus after undergoing police-style training and extensive background checks.

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“I never in my life would have thought we would come to this, ever," said Alonso High School teacher Hiedi Glick. "My job is to protect my students. My job is not to shoot them.”

Leaders from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties issued letters Thursday stating their opposition to the program.

Hillsborough Superintendent Jeff Eakins said in part, "Our School Board was one of the first in the state to address this issue, voting unanimously to reject any proposals to arm our teachers."

Supporters say arming teachers allows the good guys to stop the bad and gives districts an added tool to protect students if an attack happens.

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"Me as a teacher, personally, if that was a last resort, I would do it to protect these kids because these are my kids. It would be the same in your own house," Hillsborough teacher Allen Goodman told ABC Action News back in 2018.

The bill now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law.