Note: this is one of two articles on the school board’s potential shift to arming some of its civilian employees. See the background briefing: “More States and Districts are Arming Teachers, But Research Is Lacking on Strategy’s Effectiveness.”
After the school massacre in Parkland four years ago, the Florida Legislature moved swiftly to enact laws addressing school safety and student-mental health issues, among them the creation of the “Guardian” program allowing the arming of teachers and other civilian staff on campus.
Some 45 of Florida’s 67 districts participate in the program in some form, according to the state department. The Flagler County school district is not among them. The school board in 2018 opted to broaden its agreement with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, and have a sheriff’s deputy at each of the district’s four elementary schools and two middle school, and two at the two high schools. Imagine School at Town center has a separate agreement with the sheriff for a deputy there. Palm Coast government pays for one of the school deputies.
The Flagler district’s position on arming teachers and other civilians may be shifting, however. The School Board last week agreed to hold a workshop soon to discuss whether the district should join the “guardian” program–not as a replacement of the sheriff’s deputies, but in addition to it.
Two sitting school board members favor the guardian program: Janet McDonald, who’s at the end of her second term (she will not run for her board seat again, having opted to run for a county commission seat), and Jill Woolbright, elected less than two years ago and running again this year. So Woolbright was not on the board when the boar opted out of the guardian program in 2018. But she is now its most vocal supporter.
Woolbright brought up the issue at last week’s workshop, saying she’d discussed it with Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. “I know the sheriff would be in favor” of having not only school resource deputies, but armed civilians, she said, supplementing deputies at larger gatherings such as at big games or at summer school or extended day, the pre- and after-school child care programs on many campuses.
“So the conversation was, would it be best to have not necessarily two SROs but a combination of SROs and guardians so that there would be more coverage, quicker coverage on campus,” Woolbright said, noting the potential budget savings. It would require 160 hours of training for civilians, such as teachers or other staffers, to be armed.
Staly confirmed the conversation, with some caveats. Staly was at a community event. Someone asked him about arming teachers. “I answered that. She was in the audience,” Staly said of Woolbright. “I said I support the guardian program, but the school district voted against it when the law first came up, is what I said.” After the meeting Woolbright asked him about it again. “I said I would support it in addition to the school resource deputies, so it is not to replace any deputies at any school.” But, he said, campuses are big, and he would support an additional, armed presence. “I just want to make it very clear that it is not to replace deputies, just as supplemental.”
That would still be somewhat of a switch for Staly, who has previously opposed armed civilians fulfilling the role deputies are responsible for. After the Parkland massacre in 2018, when the school board was opposed to arming anyone who wasn’t a trained law enforcement officer, Staly was opposed to having non-law enforcement personnel on campuses, but left the door open to having such adjuncts on the “perimeter” of schools–if money was available.
Money has been an issue. The guardian program would not “add” civilians with arms on campus, but rather would train existing employees–those who are willing–to be part of the program. The Legislature launched the program with a one-time $67 million allocation in 2018, and only $500,000 in recurring dollars. Few districts signed up the first year, leaving money to be rolled over. But in 2020, Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed $41.6 million in left-over funds, leaving it to local districts to pick up whatever balance they would be left with. On June 7, DeSantis signed legislation that included $6.5 million for the program.
The Sheriff’s Office would be responsible for training any armed civilians on campus. The state requires a minimum of 144 hours of training per individual, and leaves sheriffs to decide whether to add training hours. Staly speaks of the program as requiring 160 hours. The cost per employee is unclear, as would be the number of employees the district would consider including in the program, if it went down that road.
Notably, the board may already have its majority to do so. Board member Cheryl Massaro, who was elected the same year Woolbright was, is supportive of arming civilians within Staly’s parameters.
“I do not want weapons on campus, held by anyone, only trained law enforcement and approved guardians,” Massaro said. “Guardians that have the Sheriff’s seal of approval, after the 160 hour training. I also do not want to replace our current SRD’s but enhance the program. Will it cost us more? absolutely, but I firmly believe it is worth every penny.”
School Board Chairman Trevor Tucker is more uneasy with armed civilians, but not entirely opposed. He wants the matter better studied: he opposes a knee-jerk reaction. “I really would like to leave this up to trained law enforcement, but as costs escalate it might have to become an option. I don’t know,” Tucker said. “I have to really give that a lot of thought. a school resource officer I think is best.”
Board member Colleen Conklin has been on the board to contend with the aftermath of every mass shooting since 2000 and had led town hall meetings on school violence and mental health issues. “I understand the fear and concerns surrounding school safety,” she wrote (she has been traveling this week). “After Parkland we explored the possibility of using the guardian program. At that time, we felt it was more productive if we focused on issues related to the root cause of these tragedies, mental health and the hardening of our facilities. The Guardian program would have been in place of our SRD program. We value our SRD’s as an important part of the Flagler family. I’m certainly more comfortable with maintaining our relationship with the sheriffs department and professionally trained officers than arming our teachers or staff.”
Conklin added: “On a side note, I find it puzzling that we don’t trust our teachers enough to select a book but are now going to have a conversation about asking them to pick up a gun to protect our students.”
David Schaefer says
I think its a very bad idea why not hire more SRO instead. I feel that too many things can go wrong.
You betcha. Hire more SRO’s who can sit outside the school cowering in fear while kids are being slaughtered. Cases in point; Parkland and Uvalde. We have hired so many cops whose only concern is going home every night – time for them to find a new line of work because they do not have the fortitude or the public interest in their hearts.
You say ‘too any things can go wrong’. I agree arming teachers is a moronic exercise but so is hiring more SRO’s. It takes a special person to live up to their oath and charge a gunman, run into a burning building or drop from a helicopter into a raging sea, not something you find in 80% of the population.
Jack Howell says
I would tread carefully on this concept. I have the utmost confidence in Sheriff Staly’s ability to train these civilians. However, I am curious as to what type of liability insurance will cover those selected to be armed. I assume the school board will cover all liability insurance for those employees selected for carrying firearms. However, will these staff members also be required to carry their own additional personal liability insurance? I know I would!
Bad decision. If and when a GOP Republicans child is shot in school God forbid, then we will all witness how quickly the gun laws change. Until then they will be worshiping the NRA.
Don’t think so.
GOP Repub congressman got shot at an Alexandria softball game. He came close to dying.
His response was “it’s the Democrats fault”. And he has not given any thought to firearms control.
How do you know only children of democrats have been shot ? Are you psychic or just like to spew your jaded thoughts at people.
MikeM, No where in James’ above statement does it say “only children of democrats have been shot”.
We’ve lost our minds
R. S. says
This is nuts–in my most humble opinion!
G A says
Common sense would tell you that anything Woolbright and McDonald support is a very bad idea indeed. Think about the huge lawsuit to follow when this stupid idea goes belly up in an actual emergency. Wouldn’t it be nice, if for once, Flagler County led the state in something that we all could be proud of instead of a train wreck waiting to happen.
Don’t put a gun in Woolbrights hands
Merrill S Shapiro says
So the answer to guns in schools is more guns? This is a terrific way to avoid the bigger question of too many guns in our community, too little oversight as to who can have what kind of gun. The Guardian program treats the symptom of the disease called “Sanctification of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.” We need, instead, to treat the disease.
@Fools rush in…
It’s not too late to reconsider this terrible idea.
As we start down the long, slippery road.
Hey, Gee, Golly – why not just eliminate the middleman and have K-12 students take self-defense and shooting classes, and the school district can issue weapons to the students along with their I-Pads.
I’m sure the NRA and DeSantis would be behind a program like this.
It seems to me like the Bunnell teens are already armed. Considering all the teens arrested for murder there lately.
Interesting… Shooter burst into classroom, total surprise . What does our trained teacher say? Do they say could you wait a minute while I get my gun….please let’s be realistic. Yes something needs to be done but is this really a solution?
I know an untrained, unarmed teacher might scream, beg for their lives to be spared as the shooter trains their weapon on them for a kill shot. What a silly question “what do they say?”. Hopefully they say nothing but draw their gun and shoot at the bastard like their lives (and the lives of others) depend on it, because it does. It’s so pointless to discuss hypotheticals here. Mass shooters look for soft targets. If they know there’s a chance they will get shot before they can inflict mass casualties, they might reconsider targeting schools. That’s the point.
I’m a child of the sixties and let me tell you that the only scary thing was the nuclear attack drills,
(duck under your desk) and fallout shelter procedure practice in my Catholic school.
Just the other day at Wally World I spotted a twentyish woman with a vulgar teeshirt, it read on the back:
“I’m yours only, MOTHER****ER.” I’d have been in the wrong had I said something to that pig of a person.
Imagine, you try to shield your kids from vulgarities at home, and your kid sees this filth and has to ask you
what that teeshirt means.
Then there are the raving jackasses who hang rubber testicles on their pickup trailer hitch.
Then there’s the issue of psychopaths letting bullets fly at innocent children.
Our society is circling the toilet and it’s irreversible.
Trying to fix this is analogous to the Myth of Sysiphus.
It’s like trying to roll a boulder up to the top of a mountain, only to have the boulder roll back down to the
bottom every time it reaches the top. Repeat procedure, repeat same results…
Our American society has gone to s***.
Sad but true.
I have no problem with CCW holders at all, nor do I want gun control. However think of this…….
The majority of civilians, armed or not, will run away from the fight (active shooter). They may be able to stand still and shoot a target at 7 yards but that’s about it. There is no training past that for the majority of civilians. As a current law enforcement deputy, I can say that goes for the majority in my profession as well.
The reality is most of your school deputies are not swat operators or your “go getters”. Most are deputies looking to hide out or ride out the rest of their careers.
I don’t know what the answer is, but putting weapons on untrained civilians is not the answer. 160 hours isn’t going to make you sheepdog.
I’m a teacher and I’m all in. I’d do whatever it takes to protect my students. I sure as hell wouldn’t be standing outside the school waiting for orders if there was an active shooter. Now, as a parent, with kids in the district, I think the training for those carrying teachers needs to be intense and ongoing throughout their careers. I’ve been hunting and shooting firearms as long as I can remember. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but I’d be extremely comfortable in participating in the guardian program if it’s instituted in Flagler.
Oh you’d be comfortable? Now I know you have no idea what you’re talking about. Most Trained marines aren’t comfortable in active shooter situations. But you’ve hunted? Oh you’re aces. Wait til your heartbeat is a 200 beats a minute. You’re eyesight needles and have audio loss. You have no clue.
The dude says
It’s always funny to watch these tuff guys puff out their little bird chests and start thumping on them like that.
From what I’ve seen of Flagler schools and their employees, I’d just as soon we not give them guns on campus.
Good to see you know me so well. You’ve also proved you don’t know teachers in general. Most, if not all of us would be willing to do whatever it takes to protect our kids. It seems to me that you’re the one roostering up in this case. If you’re not going to add any pertinent information on how to solve the problem, try to not judge others you have no clue about.
The dude says
I’d prefer to focus on measures that would actually prevent teachers from having to “protect thier kids” so they can focus on teaching their kids.
My wife is a teacher, and an ex-conservative.
She is not very appreciative of being considered a “pedophile child groomer” to be honest with you. And has zero interest in being armed at work. The job doesn’t pay enough for that. Nor will it ever.
You’ve got no clue of what it is to be responsible for children in a school environment. They are “my kids” while they’re at school. So, maybe I’m “puffing” up. But, I’d do anything and everything to protect them. So, go on and tell me about Marines and whatnot. I have plenty of buddies that were in the service that understand our plight as teachers trying to protect our children. Seems to me you’re the pansy. Grow a set. Mr. D.
“Conklin added: “On a side note, I find it puzzling that we don’t trust our teachers enough to select a book but are now going to have a conversation about asking them to pick up a gun to protect our students.”
This is sick and nonsensical. What is wrong with Flagler County?
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Seems as though this solution addresses the end product while completely disregarding the actual cause(s).
While I believe most everyone should be trained in actual use and safety of firearms, allowing teachers to “carry” on the job
is a poor solution to the problem.
While our current president appears to support gun ownership for himself and his family, he is not burdened with self protection while on the job. Let’s value our children and teachers the same way we value our elected officials.
Teachers should not be burdened with self protection while on the job. And certainly children should not be burdened with self protection while attending school.
Mental Health is the issue, video games is an issue, there is no consequence when you kill some one during a video game its just fun and you get points, SAD. I am a firearms instructor with over 30 yrs experience training LEO,s, very intense work. I will close by saying when was the last time a loaded firearm no matter the tittle was laid on a counter with no interaction went off and killed someone. NEVER. Its not the guns fault or the NRA. Sorry for the TRUTH.
You’re a firearms instructor? What would be your opinion on limiting the sale of high capacity clips to the gun range… on an as needed basis. Clips for target and combat practice on site.
James, again doesn’t matter if you have a 10, 20,30 round magazine or a drum, if your trained you can do just as much damage with a 10 round you just have to reload more often and thats easy. its not the guns fault nor the magazines fault. I will bet that a large percentage of the teachers already have a CCW . The class for that is a joke, not training, but most ask for intense training after the CCW class. GOD bless us all.
That’s all you learned in your “30 years” as a firearms instructor? That its not the gun’s fault, not the NRAs fault? Well, of course it taked an actual person with their finger on the trigger to shoot the gun, that’s a no-brainer. What is a brainer is that it is imperitive on society to put limits on all things that have the capability of harming human beings. One of the stupidist, most asinine sayings that NRA supporters love to spout is that a loaded gun left laying out somewhere never killed anyone. Not only am I a retired LEO with over 29 years of experience, but also a state certified law enforcement firearms instructor for many, many years. I learned as a teenager when first introduced to my first firearm, that you NEVER, ever, leave a loaded gun laying around. Well, if a loaded gun laying around never hurt anyone, why has it been so important that we certified, trained, experienced, rational firearms instructors persistently tell people to NEVER just leave a loaded firearm laying around? It is humans that are unpredicable, irrational, curious, careless, thoughtless, suicidal, homicidal, etc. In my entire adult experience I still am unable to discern which humans do or don’t match any of the above characteristics, and YOU can’t either. A nuclear weapon left laying around all by itself unattended won’t ever hurt anyone either, but that would be insane for any government to assume that they don’t have to regulate or limit access to them? If you drank the NRA and gun lobby kool-aid to the point that you NEVER want any limits to guns, that the pure number and availability of guns is not the problem we have let happen, then I feel sorry for you. I USED to be a member of the NRA. I learned. I left them many years ago. I know better. I hope others learn what I learned!
No answer yet?
Well I guess I’ll just follow up with my own comment. This fellow who claims to be a “professional” firearms instructor is in my opinion a disgrace to his profession. He implies that a “loaded firearm laid on a counter with no interaction” never caused harm… which to me has a ring of truth to it. But I ask you, what gun left on a counter UNLOADED ever caused anyone harm? Shouldn’t one reason that such a weapon is “doubly” safe?
Perhaps in his minds eye he pictures himself among friends at the range (or perhaps at his gun shop?), talking about this very topic and puts out a loaded weapon on the counter (or sandbag)… safe in the thought that he “knows” these folks. But then, a stranger enters. Is this “professional” with 30+ years of dealing with firearms going to leave that loaded gun out? He would (should) reflexively pick it up and put it away, right?
My ultimate point being that this follow (hopefully) “knows” his friends and/or customers and if he is a true professional, he will do right by them and the greater community by working to keep this… hobby?… Lifestyle?… Obsession?… As safe as possible. If this “professional” sees something, he should say something. If enacted, he should “limit” the clips for ALL his customers… friend and stranger alike. He should assure that all semi-automatic assault type weapons leave the range without clips (refunds for any unspent ammo). To do otherwise would make him a “silent partner” in any possible mass shooting event. Perhaps then he, and folks like him, will really “work” with his customers to determine if gun ownership is really the “right choice” for them.
@ r. . . please just STOP mindlessly posting FOX right winged misinformation/propaganda!!!
Our country certainly does not have more video games and Mentally ill people than other countries! BUT. . . “SEVERAL” of them have greatly reduced gun violence. . . Australia for example. . . please READ this carefully and try to comprehend the “FACTUAL” information presented, thanks!:
A spate of violence in the 1980s and ’90s that culminated in a 1996 shooting that left 35 dead led Australian Prime Minister John Howard to convene an assembly to devise gun-control strategies.
The group landed on a massive buyback program, costing hundreds of millions of dollars offset by a one-time tax increase, that bought and destroyed more than 600,000 automatic and semiautomatic weapons and pump-action shotguns.
Over the next few years, gun-death totals were cut nearly in half. Firearm suicides dropped to 0.8 per 100,000 people in 2006 from 2.2 in 1995, while firearm homicides dropped to 0.15 per 100,000 people in 2006 from 0.37 in 1995.
The entire world has all the same issues regarding video games and mental health. (They do have better healthcare though) Yet those places don’t have issues with mass shootings. What could be different?
Shooter McGavin says
Train and arm C.O.P.s. That would be a much better use of them then some of the things they use them for now. Like COPs riding around on boats in the waterways. That is of absolutely no use to any of us. There are about 20 COP cars parked on Old Kings. Start parking them and the COPS at the schools to assist the SRO.
Right – SO now we can have more armed officers who will sit outside the school pooping in their pants when an active shooter hits the school like that SRO at Parkland and the mighty Uvalde police. Just what we do not need. Good guys with guns need to live up to their oath to protect the public, not cower in a corner.
Andy S says
Denali,,, come out for a ride along some night and we will see who poops their pants.
The dude says
With all the crime and depravity we have here in this lightly populated county, you’re probably right.
Haven’t we learned a damn thing from the shooting in Texas? Cops everywhere but they wouldn’t take on a kid with an AR. Now you expect a teacher with a hand gun to engage? Do you think that a short class is going to make a teacher proficient with a handgun? Train, train and train some more. Who pays for all this nonsense? Just what is needed, more bullets flying around a classroom.
I’d respectfully suggest that the pictures showing the wounds of those kids be shown to those who support this. Then maybe they will begin to address the real issue and the root problem.
Failing that maybe mount a M60 with a box of ammo on every teachers desk that will deter a shooter.
Ed Danko says
I am in absolute full support of the guardian program. Protecting our children is the upmost priority. As a retired network TV news producer, I covered countless school shootings. I was at Columbine, Paducah Kentucky and so many more. Teachers that wish to carry, with the proper training to protect their students, should be allowed to do so. Liberals mistakenly think guns kill, while the rest of us know it is people, sick people, that do the killing. All the additional help and support we can provide our sheriff and his brave deputies should be provided, and this is a great way to start.
Hey Ed, did you ever get bored at one of those city council meetings and just start looking at those folks in the crowd out in front of you and think… I wonder which one of these folks is a serial killer? I mean, I’m a statistics buff and the thought had occurred to me once that such things as the distribution of serial killers in a population might just be such that given ANY random grouping of people of a certain size, at least one might be. Sorta like the old “birthday” probability problem… you know, given a random group of people of a certain size, at least two will share the same birthday.
Did you? Maybe huh?… Perhaps you got real bored, and even turned and started to look at the other folks on the council next to you and started wondering… hum??? Right, right… am I right… come on, you know it dude! You thought it too!
Courage & Commitment says
It takes COURAGE and COMMITMENT in life to be a trusted member of society. If there are such TEACHERS out there like that that and they agree to be trained for concealed carry of a firearm then I’m all for it .
Making up bedtime stories is kinda fun, should I continue? Why not, for all I know a lot of the commenters here are “bots.” Perhaps not you, but “Ranger” above sure did sound like one… at first anyway.
Again, this is fiction… just like my statements above concerning clip sales limits at the range.
It’s a crowded council meeting, after a few opening comments by the mayor… one of which concerns the sudden strange lack of air conditioning (he’s unaware that the ac unit broke down just 5 minutes prior), he introduces a “special guest” of note. A new PC resident, retiree Marion Hammer. Needless to say, they’re are many “gun” enthusiasts in the crowd… but then “open carry” has been the law of the land now for two months, so who knows really. Not that it really matters, but so has the right of teachers to carry… for quite some time now. One of which has made it to the meeting after fighting the heavy traffic on Old Kings… it was hot out that day. Very hot, hot even by FL standards… for the past week in fact.
She’s overworked, underpaid and feels under appreciated… but she makes it to the meeting… barely. One of the last to enter the room in fact. She takes a seat in front of Ed. She felt she had to attend since the council was going to discuss a property tax increase to fund the purchase of… I don’t know, a few new “modular, portable classrooms.” Hey, it could be anything school related really. Due to the stress of her profession, she’s developed an uncontrolled twitch in her shoulder (don’t matter which, right.. left).
Meanwhile, Ed turns around and spots her… he can’t tell, but she looks familiar. Is she the person he had an altercation with a few months back in the park???… FYI, she’s not, but he’s still uncertain… it’s getting hot. Its been a LONG day for everyone in the room… especially for the overworked deputy in the back… first traffic duty and now this? It’s getting hotter and he’s thinking back to the time he was stuck in the old Bunnell building with the mold issue.
Time passes and things get to be a bore for Ed… he begins the chain of thought I described earlier. This time with a focus on that “late comer” that looks so familiar to him. But he’s also “jokingly” looking at his fellow council members… did I mention it’s getting hot? One of them catches his strange glare (even though he’s wearing sun glasses) and continues to glance back.
Well, to make a long obsurd story short… at some moment in the meeting the deputy in the back (sweating profusely) looks up and notices a moldy patch on the ceiling and makes an audible curse, at that very same moment it just so happens that another shout was made from the audience “you’re not wanted here!”… it wasn’t directed at Marion, it was directed at a Waste Pro rep. Again, at that same instant the teacher in the front row makes a sudden twitch and the mayor is getting up for a bathroom break. Ed sees what he wants to see and pulls his weapon. Yadda, yadda, yadda… all hell breaks loose.
Everyone’s dead, ironically it’s later determined that Ed was killed by a ricocheted bullet fired from the deputies gun off the edge of the teachers seat… right between his sun glasses. “Ranger” who trained the officer was amazed… that guy was one of his worst students. As for the teacher, again ironically, she was one of the only ones NOT packing that day!
JAMES ; You have no clue what Law enforcement training is about, to disregard what i have inputted reveals your are living in the land of OZ. No matter the training people with good common sense make mistakes. Even with my level of training i was shot in the line of duty by a punk running from a murder with an unlawful firearm. I speak facts not theories. I never drank any cool aid. I hope you have a blessed day.
Yes, you need not remind me, I’m fully aware of the fact that I’m living in the land of Oz… I sincerely thank you for your past service, I always hold members of law enforcement in high regard.
Bill C says
Terrible idea… every gunner, after bursting unexpectedly through the door, would know to make the teacher the first target to take out.
… Oh, and just think Ed, if they pass “open carry” all those folks in the audience (teachers included of course) will be packing… and some will be thinking about how FL use to be a “great” place to drop dead in in peace.
All the more reason this shouldn’t be put in place. Anything you support is definitely a terrible idea.
The Voice Of Reason says
Great Ed, I especially like the idea of armed school bus drivers. I can think of one who would be a big help. Oh wait, maybe not. Face it, the good USA is a disgraceful failure when it comes to guns and their effects.
Sure, why not. When trained officers stand down and don’t do anything while school shooters murder without prejudice, I’m sure an untrained or limited trained teacher will do the trick. This country has lost its ever loving mind. Ban books but don’t touch guns. Ban drag shows but don’t touch guns. Ban LGBTQ kids from living but don’t touch guns. Ban speech, ban bodily autonomy, go after contraception, divorce, LGBTQ marriages, interracial marriages, because the party of limited government wants to control you, your thoughts, your private life, and what makes you a person but god forbid they do anything to protect your kids from real harm. That mask, that book, Susie with two mom’s is more horrific than an AR-15 in their faces. GTFOH. I’m so ready for this country to split. Beyond ready. There’s no compromise anymore. We’re too separate to ever be seen as equal again.
NO MORE says
Is that you Rainbow Randy ? Did you ride into the sunset on your UNICORN ?
Where are the adults in leadership here in Palm Coast? Arming TEACHERS!!!???? “Leadership” such that it is, go to the back of the line and back to the drawing board.
Florida Dept of education
Guardians are armed personnel who aid in the prevention or abatement of active assailant incidents on school premises. They are either school employees who volunteer to serve in addition to official job duties or personnel hired for the specific purpose of serving as a school guardian. Guardians must pass psychological and drug screenings, and successfully complete a minimum of 144 hours of training.
The 2019 Legislature expanded the Guardian program to include Class D and G licensed security guards as well as certain school district or charter school employees who volunteer to participate in the program.
State funds are granted to participating Sheriff’s Offices to cover the screening and training costs for each Guardian. Also, Guardians receive a one-time stipend of $500 for serving in the program.
For schools in need of Guardians, but located in districts that do not have a Guardian program, those schools may arrange for training with another sheriff’s office that has established a Guardian program.
Currently, the 45 counties listed below are participating in the Guardian Program. The Florida Department of Education continues to work with school districts and Sheriffs’ Offices who are interested in joining the program, and this list will be updated to reflect any additional changes.
There is so much insanity and absolute nonsensical, brainless posturing by maybe good intentioned but wrong-headed and irresponsible conservatives who still want to believe the answer to mass school shootings is more guns, more guns. Give all of our Flagler school district teachers a handgun and tell them to prepare to go up against a deranged individual who has a high powered, very dangerous AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle! You know what? Even armed, trained and experienced law enforcement officers DO NOT want to go up against an armed individulal carrying a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle, but they will because that is their job, trying to protect innocent lives. After the ever increasing number of mass shootings involving suspects with AR-15 assault rifles in the U.S., law enforcement agencies in each and every state started equiping their patrol officers with semi-automatic assault rifles so the LEOs stood somewhat of a chance against that threat, realizing their handguns only, without the superior firepower of a semi-automatic rifle at their disposal in the event of a shooting only made the officers sitting ducks and massively outguned. So, that is NOT a job or something you can demand or expect of a shool teacher packing a handgun, even if they are willing to carry one and become a sitting duck against a school shooter carrying an assault rifle. You want to put that in policy, Flagler school district? Well, if you do, make sure you have each teacher make out their will and last testament beforehand, will you? Here are the facts. In the recent Buffalo NY mass shooting at the grocery store, an armed, experienced, retired police Lt. with a handgun did his best to confront the deranged white supremist armed with an AR-15 assault rifle. Despite his many, many years of police experience, his extensive firarms training, his knowledge of officer safety survival tactics, and trying to shoot the armed shooter, the retired police officer was shot to death along with 9 other innocent victims. In Uvalde TX they HAD armed school police officers on school campuses but you know how “Murphy’s Law” will inevitibly come into play and screw up the best laid plans, just like in Uvalde. Why not just cut to the chase and start handing out guns to every school student so they can be the “good guy with a gun” to stop :the bad guy with a gun” that the NRA and the gun lobby so often spouts as the only solution? NO!!! The solution has to be to stop flooding our streets, our schools, our grocery stores and businesses and society as a whole with more guns, more guns, more guns. Can we please just STOP with this insanity that has been proliferated for decades by the NRA and gun lobby that the U.S., despite hundreds of millions of guns all over the country, that we need MORE guns to protect each of us from those with guns??? PLEASE give me a friggin break!
Typical KNEE JERK reaction as always.
How is arming teachers and staffers going to prevent or stop a “massacre” incident ? Why is we always fail to look at the OBVIOUS and rally towards the insane ?
1. Reevaluate the perimeters first. Study the school property first and identify the security flaws and fix them.
2. Separate the entrances for each grades so guards at the doors can better identify who should be there or not.
3. Have guards do “THIER” jobs and not like always become auxiliary school staff, like delivering mail, cleaning property or assisting maintenance personnel. The mindset of most executive staff in schools who control security after a few weeks start using security for these tasks to augment their own. School staff always begins to resent security personnel for what they perceive as “DO NOTHINGS” and complain that they can do more to help out, which effectively neutralizes their whole purpose.
Theses are just a few but arming teachers would lead to a new dimension of tragedy and stupidity.
Just one more reason why I left Florida says
As we use to say back in my former life – this idea is NUCKING FUTS!!!!!!
We need fewer guns not more guns, even in the hands of those trained (questionalby) to handle them.
As an Independent, I am not crazy about the Democrats, but Republicans have gone so far off the tracks that they can no longer see what’s in front of them.
Allow me to show you how stupid this “program” is. It’s known that these kids who arm themselves have every intention of dying on the day they attack others. It’s a suicidal mission to take out as many kids as he can before getting killed himself. Now, if you arm the teacher, this is simple: shoot the teacher first.
Now tell me how clever this program is.
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
Interesting, a profession that is massively underpaid, routinely scapegoated by police and conservatives, and forced to dance on legislative strings should be armed. I say why not, we know the police are cowards so sure, arm them. Make sure to give them qualified immunity, too. That way they can teach actual science and critical race theory and there’s nothing you can do about it
So if we’re going to “prevent” gun violence by adding more guns to society where does it stop? School shootings call for armed teachers. Church shootings call for armed priests. Synagogue shootings require armed rabbis. Theatre shootings mean armed ushers. Night club shootings mean armed servers. Concert shootings … let’s see… arm the performers or the ushers. Stupid fake solution that makes no sense whatsoever.
NO MORE says
You people live in a fantasy world. If your that worried about your child getting killed by a serial killer in schools, then TAKE THEM OUT OF SCHOOL and home school them yourself. Me personally, I believe it would be so much easier to install “SAFE ROOMS”, Ballistic Book Bags for the students, arm the Janitors, lock the damn doors and put Law enforcement officers INSIDE the schools and pay them a good salary.
The dude says
Why in the fuck should I need to buy a “ballistic book bag” for my 11yo daughter?
An ldea but is it a good idea? Foe me this is a sticky situation. Something has to be done. A teacher with a gun with a lot of students sounds scarry to me. Who is to say some teachers haven’t been bringing guns to school in the pass. A gun a lot of kids a bad situation. A lot can be said but are we saying the right things I don’t know. This is a very sticky situation. We will c what happens.
Let’s mark this asinine idea as Exhibit 654,987,386 in the bankruptcy proceedings of the US.
michael a celano says
Having a doctor’s in education who’s brilliant idea with this being the educate a bunch of school teachers how to discipline children knowing that they have to they could use their handgun it can’t come up with something better than that shame on you why don’t you leave the county in something better
Sort of interesting to sit back and read comments by people familiar with weapons, firearms instruction, law enforcement, and so-forth, basically declaring that if and when the time comes when that sick whacko comes to a school or somewhere in Flagler County, the Sheriff’s Department won’t have the heart to do what it takes to put the situation down. The fact is, do any of you? I was in law enforcement for 34 years and I’ve been in some very bad situations, but never one like that..Thank GOD. I would venture to say that if and when the time comes, we’re in good hands here. I don’t know why I’m saying that, I just get that feeling. But again, you NEVER know. None of us know, and we have no right to judge, so let’s give these guys a break. By the way…Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Would you be ok if they actually pulled their guns on a juvenile with a gun? A lot of folks lost their minds when Sheriff’s Deputies stopped a stolen car and pulled their guns on juveniles, not knowing if there was a gun in the car! LET THEM DO THEIR JOBS! By the way, I don’t know much about school security, so let me throw this out there. What is wrong with locking down schools during hours of operation? Is that a viable alternative?
Well the schools would’ve to first secure their campuses…both wadswortha dn BTMS don’t even have fences around them yet they wanna spend money on arming teachers. go by and check it out… you literally can walk right off sidewalk onto BTMS campus and up to the school and they would not have a clue. with all the shootings you would think simple things like that in this small district would be easily fixed… hardening of the campus. since parkland they haven’t spent one dime of making our campuses harder to get into other than the remodeling the front of both high schools. this is what the Sheriff needs to ask them before committing to anything…. at what point are they going to go beyond just saying the same ole same about making schools safe. the district is responsible for spending money on that stuff. while I would agree FPC is probably the most safe campus due to fencing and security guard shack, the entire district is a tragedy waiting to happen. They need campus security on all campuses and that spefici person should be the armed guardian because they are able to move around and respond to situations instead of a teacher who is locked in a classroom that may not even know what’s going on on the other side of campus. so what good does that gun do?
A viable alternative would be to ban machine guns, increase the age to 25 years old (when the brain has actually matured) where anyone under 25 years old needs supervision, and stop bullying in schools. Kids also need to speak up if they hear or witness something disturbing.
I went to school in the late 50’s through the early 70’s and was never, ever bullied. It’s like a foreign concept to me. Almost everyone in elementary school were friends. All my girlfriends were sweethearts. Junior High and High School was a little tougher, but still no one I knew was bullied. There was no desire to do so, and it actually never occurred to us.
A good chunk of the later generation has been raising depressed kids with a false sense of entitlement, a lack of confidence and a lack of security. Either parents want to be their kids’ buddies, cave into every whim, blame everyone else for their kids’ shortcomings, or flat out ignore them. Parents need to be held responsible for their children’s actions.
Adding more guns to this situation is just flat headed stupid.
Heed the advice of the Better Best Guys With a Gun. Good Guys with a gun have a terrible record of defense. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=MCI4bUk4vuM
How much would it really take for a student to overpower a teacher and take the gun????????
Donald J Trump says
Why doesn’t Danko support my 2nd right to bring my gun into a city council meeting, I have CWP, my answer is because he is a loud mouth hypocrite.