New Florida Law Supports Veterans and School Safety All at Once

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    Are you worried about where our education system is headed and just how safe our kids are in public schools? You aren’t the only one.

    Thankfully, legislators and state leaders in Florida have made the safety and education of our youth a major priority as of late. And at the beginning of July, another program was put into place that only increases that.

    Basically, what it does is allow US military veterans seeking a bachelor’s degree to become gainfully employed as teachers while completing their own education.

    Now, this has a number of benefits.

    First, it helps these veterans and gives them a head start in their careers.

    Secondly, it provides the state with much-needed teachers for an ever-growing number of students.

    And lastly, it means that many schools will now be equipped with teachers who are gun and firearm safety qualified, as nearly all branches of the US military, save the US Coast Guard, require firearm training. This will ensure that our students are even safer in the event that someone should enter school grounds with ill intent.

    It’s important to note at this point that teachers in most Florida schools are allowed to carry.

    Following the tragic high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, a law was passed giving school districts the option to allow their teachers to carry, should they want to. So far, 45 of the Sunshine State’s 67 counties enjoy the perks of this program, known as the Guardian Program.

    This new law will make it even more likely that schools and districts will participate in it, as more gun and firearm safety-trained personnel will be employed.

    Now about the new program itself…

    To qualify, veterans must have actively served in at least one US military branch for at least 48 months and received either an honorable or medical discharge. Vets must also be working towards a bachelor’s degree and have completed at least 60 college credit hours, which is basically about halfway to their goal. They must also have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.

    Additionally, they must be able to pass a Florida subject area test, proving that they are actually retaining their college education and are proficient at a bachelor’s level. They must also be employed or seeking employment through a Florida school district or charter school.

    As Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz told Fox News, “This is a great pathway for us to be able to have our veterans, in this veteran-friendly state, to step up to the plate.” He noted that so far, 83 vets have applied for the program.

    Of course, this isn’t the only way Florida is working hard to protect its students.

    You might remember that Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made waves in March when he banned the teaching of critical race theory in all Florida k-12 schools. As he said, “Florida’s civic curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials, and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories.”

    Later that same month, he angered liberals even more by passing the Parental Rights in Education bill. This officially banned teachers from instructing those under third grade about sexual orientation or gender identity and ensured that if it is taught at older grade levels, it is age and/or “developmentally appropriate.”

    And on Thursday, state education leaders, including Manny Diaz, sent out memos to educators informing them that the Biden administration’s new “guidance” on transgender bathrooms and such does not have to be followed. In fact, Diaz noted that such ideas could and likely will “jeopardize the safety and wellbeing of Florida students and risk violating Florida law.”

    As such, the memos made it clear that “sexual ideology” will not be imposed on Florida students. And that means teachers and school personnel do not have to let males into girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, or dorms, regardless of what they “identify” as.

    So as you can see, Florida is taking huge strides to improve student safety. And given their success so far, I’d say it won’t be long until other states follow suit.

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