Should School Janitors Carry Guns?
Florida proposal to arm full-time school staff draws controversy
A plan to arm school staff in Brevard County, FL, is up for vote by the Brevard school district board next month, NBC News reports. The proposal—Sheriff-Trained Onsite Marshal Program (STOMP)—would be limited to full-time staff such as custodians, vice principals, and cafeteria workers. Teachers are not eligible. Among 700 eligible workers polled by the district, almost 40 percent said they would be interested in participating.
STOMP was initiated in response to the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, that killed 17 people. Its proponents believe arming school staff with guns will help prevent future mass shootings in schools. However, many people are uncomfortable with the idea, including the president of the school district’s teacher union, parents, and gun control advocates. They feel the presence of guns in schools will endanger students and that school personnel should not be expected to do the job of police.
If the proposal clears the school board on May 8, participants would undergo more than 130 hours of training overseen by the county sheriff's office.