16:28 GMT30 October 2020
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    Florida School Board Association Director of Government Relations Ruth Melton claims that Florida school boards should not enact new gun policies passed by the state’s House of Representatives.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US state of Florida school boards should not enact new gun policies passed by the state’s House of Representatives that allow school employees to carry concealed weapons in community schools, Florida School Board Association (FSB) Director of Government Relations Ruth Melton told Sputnik.

    “We would encourage school boards not to enact these policies and provisions, but will trust them to do the right thing,” Melton said on Thursday. “By rendering it a local school issue, FSB will not oppose it itself.”

    The Florida House bill, HB 19, would allow public school employees to carry concealed weapons on school campuses for protection, but would require background checks and receive training at law-enforcement academies for those allowed to carry the weapons.

    The FSB trusts local schoolboards to make the right decision for the safety and protection of students, Melton said, and those interested in pursuing the gun policy will be deterred once they understand the potential consequences.

    While terrible tragedies have occurred in US schools, she noted, it is FSB’s duty to remind citizens that schools are the safest place for children and much more needs to be done to keep them safe.

    Melton told Sputnik that any capital improvements would promote safety.

    “We are mainly focused on increasing safe school funding to allow school districts to decide on different options,” Melton said.

    “Funding might be used to hire a professional law enforcement officer. Other times, it might be used on capital improvements such as bullet proof glass, locks that allow people out but not in, or panic buttons,” she added.

    FSB will also push for counseling and mental health services to be available to students that may help prevent or avoid such weapons-related tragic events, Melton concluded.



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