Parkland school board rejects gun law passed in wake of shooting


The Florida school district home to the Parkland school where a former student gunned down his classmates and teachers officially declined to arm school personnel despite new laws that would fund training and allow certain staff to carry guns.

Broward County's school board on Tuesday voted against participating in the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program — named for the football coach who died during the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to CBS Miami.

Gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen more before he was arrested by authorities later the same day.

In the nearly two months since, student survivors of the deadly event have become fierce advocates for gun safety, calling on lawmakers to implement stricter regulations and bans.

SEE: Marjory Stoneman Douglas students return to school:

In response, Florida Gov. Rick Scott in March signed a $400 million safety package into law, which includes $67 million to train and arm school personnel willing to carry guns. It also provided districts like Broward County the choice to opt out of the guardian program.

The legislation in part was likely inspired by President Trump, who vowed "ATTACKS WOULD END" if "gun adept teachers with military or special experience" were armed.

Members of the Broward County School Board were quick to disagree with the President Tuesday evening — unanimously opting out of the program.

"I have not met one teacher or one student who is in favor of arming teachers in Broward County," said board member Laurie Levison.

School officials also emphasized the importance of focusing on mental health issues and advocated for directing the funding to those matters, according to CBS Miami.

"We should definitely launch a campaign to persuade the governor, for those districts who do not want to arm their employees, that they give us the money to keep kids safe," said board member Robin Bartleman.

The bill — which marks the first gun control measures passed in Florida in nearly two decades — also raised the minimum age to buy a gun of any kind to 21, implements a three-day waiting period to purchase and firearm and bans bump stocks.

Originally published