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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund today announced the launch of a $200,000 paid media campaign opposing HB 7093/SB 7030, legislation which would expand the Guardian Program established in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act by allowing classroom teachers to be armed, possibly over the objection of local sheriffs.
As part of the campaign, a digital billboard truck emphasizing the dangers of arming teachers will drive around the State Capitol in Tallahassee until Thursday, April 11. On Sunday, full-page advertisements with the same message ran in the Tampa Bay Times, Tallahassee Democrat, St. Lucie County News, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald and Bradenton Herald. The campaign also includes digital ads.
“We should let our teachers teach, instead of putting guns in their hands,” said Gay Valimont, volunteer leader with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We’re urging our representatives to reject this legislation, which would make school a more dangerous place for Florida’s children.”
Arming teachers is unpopular with voters; a recent poll from Quinnipiac University showed that a strong majority of Florida voters oppose allowing teachers to carry guns in schools, even if they are given training. Research indicates that arming teachers will make children less safe. For this reason, school safety experts, teachers and law enforcement officials across the country oppose arming teachers, including the Florida Education Association. The National Association of School Resource Officers, the largest organization of school-based law enforcement officers, also opposes arming teachers.