Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to last week’s article, School district to join Guardian program, reporting that the Gulf County School Board has voted to participate in the state’s so-called “Guardian” program.

The Florida Legislature passed SB 7030 this year, expanding the Guardian program to allow teachers to participate and carry guns in classrooms. The new law takes effect Oct. 1.

Before we arm teachers in Gulf County schools, we owe it to our parents, teachers, students, first responders and taxpayers to answer and deal with some important questions:

Will armed teachers face liability for failing to do enough to keep kids safe? A school resource officer was recently criminally charged for failing to adequately respond in the Parkland mass shooting.

Who pays for the liability insurance for armed teachers? The Florida Department of Education insurance policy excludes coverage.

Won’t first responders have difficulty distinguishing an active shooter from an armed teacher, when the shooter and teacher are both wearing plain clothes and carrying a gun?

What happens when an armed teacher feels threatened by a student? Does “stand your ground” apply?

Will parents and students have the right to opt out of a classroom with a gun?

And why wasn’t Sheriff Mike Harrison included in the School Board’s meeting?

Anice Reed

State Committeewoman

Gulf County Democrats