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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, in which 17 people were killed, students, teachers, parents and concerned citizens across the nation have called for gun reform.

Hand in hand with who has access to firearms, and what type of firearm, many are looking at options to make schools safer.

One of those options, suggested by President Donald Trump during a “listening session” on Wednesday with survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting, is arming teachers.

The idea of having guns in schools has had a polarizing effect.

Wednesday night, during a CNN Town Hall discussion, teacher Ashley Kurth asked Florida Senator Marco Rubio about it.

“I voted for Mr. Trump. I still, you know, support the 2nd Amendment. However, with that being said and with all these talks of gun control laws and everything that you guys have been up there saying to us about what you’re going to do about it, a lot of the flack that I’ve been getting back from my friends and from a lot of other people that are around the world is, the answer to the gun problem is to arm teachers,” she said.

“And when I had those hundreds of terrified children that were running at me, my question to that is, am I supposed to get extra training now to serve and protect on top of educating these children on how to be these eloquent speakers that are coming up and presenting issues to you? I – – I mean, am I supposed to have a kevlar vest? Am I supposed to strap it to my leg or put it in my desk? How am I supposed to go (audio gap) that way,” she asked.

To which Rubio replied, “I don’t suppose that’s the answer and I say that as a father as well as a Senator.”

Also in support of not arming teachers is the National School Safety and Security Services which says school security should be left to the professionals, like school resource officers and school police officers.

“School districts considering arming teachers and school staff with guns would take on significant responsibility and potential liabilities that I firmly believe are beyond the expertise, knowledge-base, experience, and professional capabilities of most school boards and administrators,” said Kenneth Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services.

Florida’s State Attorney Pam Bondi, after a “listening session” Thursday with Trump and several other education and law enforcement officials, said arming teachers with guns in schools would be a good idea, as long as they are the right teachers.

“As far as arming teachers I can tell you the plan that they are looking at – we have air marshalls on airplanes why don’t we have protection in our schools,” she said. “So if teachers are armed they must be highly trained, highly qualified, or acting like air marshalls, former police, former military, coming in some capacity where they are extremely qualified, not just giving every teacher in a school a handgun to carry. I don’t think anyone wants that to happen.”

The Broward Sheriff’s Office has decided that instead of arming teachers, they will now have their deputies assigned to schools keep a rifle locked in their patrol car. Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie supports the plan.

“I don’t believe teachers should be armed. I believe teachers should teach,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.

“We don’t need to put guns in the hands of teachers,” said Runcie. “You know what we need. We need to arm teachers with more money in their pockets.”

Students CBS4 spoke with at Cypress Bay High oppose any plan to arm teachers.

“I don’t think it’s a great idea. I don’t think the idea fits for our school. Schools should not be the place where people are armed. It’s not the right environment and what we want in our schools,” said sophomore Ryan Ames.

There is a bill before the Florida Senate that would allow school principals or district school superintendents to designate individuals with a concealed carry license to bring firearms on school property. That bill goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

“To be truthful, I know that they hope for good response in the end but I think it will be negative rather than positive due to the fact that this will cause more trauma to the teachers and the students as well. The idea of having to kill someone whether you’re protecting someone or yourself is just traumatizing,” said sophomore Joal Olivencia.

At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Jan McDougal, a school counselor from New York City, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I don’t think teachers have to be trained to be armed forces for educators. They should be teaching children about respect and diversity.”

Phyllis Goodman, a retired teacher from Des Moines, Iowa, said, “If you increase the number of people with guns in any one area, the chances for something to go wrong increase. Armed teachers are not the answer. I don’t mind checkpoints. I don’t mind more searches. I don’t mind more school resource officers. YOU START arming teachers and you can see a lot of bad things happening.”

“I am for stricter gun laws and a cap on the sale of ammunition,” she added.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy has called arming teachers “a recipe for disaster.” Florida Senator Bill Nelson agreed, calling it “a terrible idea.”

“If the weapon is a high-caliber, rapid-fire assault weapon, it is hard to go into a fight if you’ve got just a handgun. That’s not a fair fight. So, get the assault weapons out,” Nelson said.

So what do you think?



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