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Florida Senate Passes Bill Expanding Armed Teachers Program

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TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate passed a bill that will expand a program that allows some teachers to carry guns in schools.

The Senate passed a school safety bill 22-17 on Tuesday that makes changes to a law enacted last year after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland.

While the bill addresses several school safety issues, the most contentious is a provision that makes all teachers eligible for the “guardian program” that allows them to carry guns in schools. Right now, only teachers that have a role outside the classroom, such as an athletic coach, can participate.

School districts would have to approve participation in the program and teachers would have to volunteer, undergo psychological evaluations and be trained by a sheriff’s office.

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