Florida school guardian training changes proposed

TALLAHASSEE — A House Republican on Monday filed a proposal that would expand training about how to handle active-shooter situations for people participating in Florida’s controversial school “guardian” program.

Rep. Carolina Amesty, R-Windermere, filed the bill (HB 335) for consideration during the 2023 legislative session, which will start in March.

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The Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, named after one of the 17 people killed in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, allows school staff members to be armed on campus. Staff members who choose to participate in the program are required to receive training from a county sheriff that includes 132 hours of “comprehensive firearm safety and proficiency” instruction.

The measure filed Monday seeks to double the amount of training that school guardians would receive in active-shooter or assailant scenarios from eight to 16 hours.

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Meanwhile, another part of the required training would be decreased under the bill. Instruction on legal issues would be reduced from 12 to four hours.