The commission investigating February’s high school in massacre recommends that qualified teachers be given the right to carry guns on school grounds.
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left 17 teenagers and adults dead and wounded 17 more.
The report also criticizes the missteps made by law enforcement responders.
The commission has been severely critical of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for its response to the attack, stating that its ineffective policies contributed to the bloodshed.
Extensive reporting by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel came to a similar conclusion.
10 months of reporting by the South Florida Sun Sentinel reveals 58 minutes of chaos in Parkland marked by no one taking charge, deputies dawdling, false information spreading, communications paralyzed and children stranded with nowhere to hide.https://t.co/u4Q5LO7fD2
— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) December 28, 2018
The report calls for reform from Florida school districts, law enforcement, and legislators. The commission asks that a minimum of at least one law enforcement officer be present on every middle and high school campus.
“Each allocation of law enforcement officer/guardians must be staffed sufficiently to provide for an immediate backup and an appropriate and timely response consistent with the circumstances of an emergency situation,” the report states.
The commission also asks for the reinforcement of the Guardian Program, which was approved in the wake of the Parkland shooting, according to the Sun-Sentinel, to include teachers who undergo training to carry firearms in on campus.
Under the Guardian Program, the trainees currently are civilians being recruited from schools’ surrounding communities, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
However, the commission is now pushing for teachers to be armed on school grounds as well.
“School districts and charter schools should permit the most expansive use of the Guardian Program under existing law to allow personnel — who volunteer, are properly selected, thoroughly screened and extensively trained — to carry concealed firearms on campuses for self-protection and the protection of other staff and students,” the commission recommended.
“Further, the Florida legislature should expand the Guardian Program to allow teachers who volunteer — in addition to those now authorized — who are properly selected, thoroughly screened and extensively trained to carry concealed firearms on campuses for self protection, and the protection of other staff and students in response to an active assailant incident,” the report reads.
The report requested that Florida lawmakers modify a Florida statute in order to “establish a Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program to aid in the prevention or abatement of active assailant incidents on school premises.”
The proposed program is named for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas football coach who gave his life protecting students during the massacre.
According to WPTV, the report was sent to outgoing Florida Gov. Rick Scott, incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis, and state legislative leaders.
The proposal that teachers be allowed to carry guns now awaits approval from the Legislature. It faces opposition from the local teachers union and the PTA.
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