Unexpected: Stoneman Douglass Officials Vote to Train and Arm Teachers Almost Unanimously

Broward Sheriff's officer crouches behind vehicle door.

You’d think ground zero of the Parkland massacre would be a hotbed of anti-firearm sentiment as it was the home of The March for Our Lives campaign, which sought to bring about serious gun control measures, but you’d be extraordinarily wrong.


You’d also be pardoned for not knowing about this story despite the fact that it came out last week, as it didn’t appear anywhere in the news feeds. In fact, the only reason I saw this story is because Jazz Shaw at Hot Air stumbled upon it himself.

According to CBS Miami, the Stoneman Douglas Commission voted 13-1 to recommend that teachers train and arm themselves in order to prevent another incident like February’s Parkland shooting, which claimed the lives of over a dozen innocents. Commission Chair Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that he believes qualified and trained teachers would be the difference makers in these types of situations:

“It’s not just this en masse, ‘Oh if anybody wants a gun, have one,’” Gualtieri said. “That’s not what I’m saying. And it’s so important that people understand that.”

Gualtieri points to the fact that confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz stopped and reloaded his weapon numerous times as evidence that a teacher with a gun could have possibly prevented some of the bloodshed. Commissioner Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina died in the shooting, said he supports the idea of recommending to the Florida legislature the idea of arming willing, trained teachers.

“I can’t get out of my head the visual of those teachers huddled in those classrooms at MSD with no ability to protect themselves or those students,” Petty told CBS4 News.

Petty said there are not enough school resource officers and armed guardians to go around and he — and other Commissioners — want restrictions lifted on the armed guardian program allowing willing teachers to be trained to carry guns on campus.


The lone dissenter on the commission was Max Schachter, whose son Alex died at the school during that fateful day.

“I don’t think teachers should be carrying guns,” Schachter said. “I think they have enough on their plate. I think their priority is teaching, It just creates a host of more problems.”

It should be noted that the commission vote doesn’t alter school policy, or even state law. The commission’s proposal will now be sent to the Florida legislature where they will vote on the legislation to lift the restriction on teachers to carry. It’s also possible they’ll vote to keep the restrictions, in which case Florida schools will have to resort to looking for less effective ways to defend the students against shooters.

As we’ve seen before, especially with the Parkland shooting, the best defense is the defense you put up for yourself. Even the police who are there to protect you may fail to do so, either because they didn’t get there in time, or because they cowered outside while you’re shot. Parkland proved the latter does indeed happen, proving the commission’s point.


Now, I wonder why the media hasn’t made widespread reports about this…


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