OPINION: Teachers & students lose, contractors win: Florida school safety bill forbids teacher carry, includes $373.4 million security outlay

By Deborah Nelson

Florida’s legislature, yesterday, passed a bill that includes $373.4 million in new security outlays, but specifically forbids teachers from participating in campus security marshal programs.

The measure also raises Florida’s long gun purchase age to 21, although active duty military are exempt from the restriction.

The bill now goes to Governor Rick Scott, who after a pretense of hemming and hawing about firearms on campus will no doubt sign it, and eliminate the most obvious solution for teacher and student security – teacher firearm carry on campus.

Three teachers died during the February 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, including football Coach Aaron Feis.

Ironically, and tragically, a proposed new campus marshal program named after Feis forbids teacher participation.

That’s despite at least one eyewitness who said Feis could have stopped the Parkland attacker with a firearm.

“If Coach Feis had had his firearm in school that day, I believe that he most likely could’ve stopped the threat,” 17-year old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High JROTC student Colton Haab said in February.

Instead, the bill leaves it up to local sheriffs to establish a Coach Aaron Feis Guardian program that would field armed campus marshal personnel.

Despite Parkland’s sad reaffirmation that teachers will always be the first line of student defense, the bill specifically excludes teachers from participating in the marshal program; unless they teach ROTC, are currently a servicemember, or are a current or past law enforcement officer.

Why exclude teachers?

The answer of course, is politics.  And stealing.

Governor Rick Scott really wants Bill Nelson’s Senate seat.

In order to get it, he’ll need money from an establishment that has always opposed the Second Amendment, regardless of which party’s puppet strings it happens to be pulling at the moment.

To reiterate:  Democrat donors oppose Second Amendment rights.  Republican donors oppose Second Amendment rights.

These are the liege lords Florida legislators/political vassals were obeying when they made sure teachers (but not million dollar security contractors) were left as defenseless as ever.

Instead we have a sizeable security contractor spending outlay that will add a couple of armed personnel, tops, to each campus; plus more “creeping gun control” age restrictions of dubious demonstrable security (not to mention Constitutional) value.

The mass media have run circles around themselves trying to portray teacher carry as an issue of terrified little schoolmarms forced into unwanted security roles.

Obviously, the program would have been voluntary.  Ordinary people in the street understand this.

That’s why we haven’t been allowed to hear from teachers who would have been willing to undergo training and assume the responsibility of carrying a firearm.

The problem, perhaps, is that too many teachers would have been willing to participate.

Perhaps cutting into the government contractor and water cooler employee take.

Perhaps reaffirming that personal security confers the basic level of relief from immediate safety fears necessary before people can feel free to focus on wider community issues.  And challenge things they don’t like.

Like government and industry stealing.

Gun control shouters say they don’t want campuses turned into armed camps.  But that’s exactly what this bill creates, by imposing outside contract security guards instead of unobtrusive carry by familiar people going about their daily business.

Kind of like the Founders intended.

At the end of the day, the result is more spending and less security.

Who benefits from that?  Not teachers and students.



The bill’s new spending includes:

$69,237,286:  local mental health assistance grants

$500,000 and

$6,200,000 (non-recurring):  youth mental health awareness training

$1 million:  Marjory Stoneman Douglas memorial

$25,262,714:  Marjory Stoneman Douglas building 12 replacement

$500,000 (recurring) and

$67,000,000:  screening and training and $500 participant stipend for local sheriffs’ school marshal programs

$344,393 (recurring):  3 positions at new state Dept. of Education Office of School Safety, at $150K each

$97,500,000 (recurring):  local district school resource officers

$100,000 (recurring):  active shooter training component of the school safety specialist program contract

$98,962,286:  grants to improve schools’ physical security

$100,000 (recurring) and

$300,000 (nonrecurring):  contract for phone app to anonymously report suspicious activity

$600,000 (recurring) and

$50,000 (nonrecurring):  fund 5 Dept. Law Enforcement positions in a new public safety commission

$9,800,000 (recurring):  more Dept. of Children and Families contracted community action treatment teams

$18,300,000 (recurring):  Dept. of Children and Families contracted mobile crisis teams

$18,321 (recurring) and

$225,000 (non-recurring):  death benefits for teachers who died at Parkland shooting

$3,000,000 (recurring):  Dept. of Education contracted centralized data repository and analytics

$1,000,000:  security contractor evaluation of current Dept. of Education security analysis methods

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