The measure stems from a hotly debated new law signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in May giving districts the option to arm teachers and security guards. The law was passed in response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018; 17 people were killed in the shooting spree.
The law gives districts the right to opt into the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program. Feis was a Stoneman Douglas staff member who shielded students from a barrage of bullets and was himself fatally shot.
The program designates teachers and security guards as "guardians" who respond to armed attacks on school campuses. Guardians are strictly volunteers, who will receive a $500 stipend for their participation in the program.
According to the Florida Department of Education, guardians must pass psychological and drug screenings, and successfully complete a minimum of 144 hours of training.
Currently, 39 out of Florida's 67 counties have opted to participate in the program, including Broward County, where the Parkland episode occurred. Miami-Dade and Orlando have chosen not to take part.