Today, families of the victims of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL spoke out in response to reports that legislators in the state of Florida are considering a bill which includes a provision to arm school teachers. The following statement can be attributed to Tony Montalto, President of Stand with Parkland and father of Gina Montalto.
"Our students and teachers deserve safe and secure schools. Stand with Parkland supports armed guardians at schools, as provided for in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act, which the Florida legislature passed with bi-partisan support last year. We believe, however, that arming teachers is a misguided idea and actually undermines efforts to safeguard our schools against mass shootings like the one that took our loved ones at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. We believe our teachers should be focused on teaching and trained law enforcement or school security officers should be provided to protect our students and staff at school. We must make securing the safety of our schools a national priority. Florida’s children deserve nothing less.”
Although we oppose this one provision, we support the majority of SB 7030 and share the view of the bill’s supporters in regard to implementing some of the MSD Commission recommendations. For the sake of our children, we know that our elected officials can come together to secure our schools, ensure students have access to the mental health programs they need, and ensure responsible firearm ownership through practical reforms. We know it’s possible because we saw it last year and we hope to see continued support from the Governor’s office and that same bi-partisan cooperation this year.
"As the families who lost our loved ones in the massacre in Parkland, we applaud the work of the MSD Commission and support many of its recommendations. However, Stand with Parkland – The National Association of Families for Safe Schools does not support arming teachers."