A controversial program that will allow faculty to come armed to their work in schools to be prepared to respond to possible shootings will take effect this Tuesday, October 1 in Florida, where 11 of the 67 counties have shown interest in implementing it in its entirety.
The “Guardian” program was created after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in February 2018, in which 17 people died, including students and teachers.
But the state legislature this year extended that possibility to teachers, with the backing of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
In addition to the 11 counties seeking to arm teachers under sheriff’s training, 25 others are interested in implementing the “Guardian” program for personnel other than teachers.
These guardians must pass drug tests, psychological tests and complete 144 hours of training.
The program is part of a security recommendation for schools designed from faults detected at Parkland High School, north of Miami, during the shooting by Nikolas Cruz with an assault rifle.
In addition to armed guards, a law passed in 2018 in the wake of the Parkland shooting increases the minimum age for acquiring a gun from 18 to 21 and imposes a three-day waiting period for most long-range weapons purchases.
Florida has been the scene of several massive shootings in recent years: at the Pulse bar (Orlando), where 49 people died, at Fort Lauderdale airport, at a convention center in Jacksonville, and even at a yoga room and a bank.