Republicans repeatedly emphasized the voluntary nature of the program.
“This bill does not arm one single, solitary teacher,” said Republican Sen. Manny Diaz. “What this bill does is provide the 67 school districts, the 67 different communities in this state, with the ability to do what they need to do to protect our kids.”
So far, 25 districts have approved participating in the guardian program.
Over and over, supporters noted that there were fewer than four minutes between the first and last gunshots during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 14 students and three faculty members dead on Feb. 14, 2018. Diaz said in some rural counties it could take more than 20 minutes for law enforcement to arrive at a school during a shooting.