Florida House bill sponsor Rep. Jose Oliva, center, (R- Hialeah), watches the vote board at the Florida Capital in Tallahassee, Fla., Wednesday March 7, 2018. The Florida House has passed a school safety bill that includes new restrictions on rifle sales and a program to arm some teachers.

Credit: Mark Wallheiser/AP

Proposal To Arm Teachers Could Hit Roadblock In Florida

March 8, 2018

On Wednesday, the Florida legislature passed a bill that would raise the purchasing age for firearms, ban bump stocks, and, controversially, allow for the training and arming of teachers.

Now the legislation must be signed by Gov. Rick Scott to become law. But Scott, who opposes the arming of teachers, has publicly expressed reticence about moving forward on it.

"I’m going to review the bill line by line," Scott told reporters before the vote.

Paul Reville, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and former state Secretary of Education, joined Boston Public Radio to discuss the issue of arming teachers and the student activism around gun control in Florida in the wake of the Parkland shooting. Reville said he doesn't foresee a similar provision becoming law in Massachusetts.

"Particularly in this region, you're not hearing a lot of enthusiasm for teachers who want to be packing heat in the first grade," Reville said.

"This is not something people, for the most part, are greeting with open arms," he continued.

He noted, however, that offering a pay bump in exchange for firearms training could be a real draw for some teachers.

"In the ear where teachers are underpaid, I suppose any incentive is attractive to some people," Reville said.

Click the audio player above to listen to Paul Reville's entire interview with Boston Public Radio.

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