Superintendent Bill Husfelt sent out an email Friday afternoon asking Bay District School employees about their interest in an extensive training program that would allow them to be armed during school hours.
Last month, Governor Rick Scott signed a school safety bill that creates new gun restrictions, and allows teachers to arm themselves after going through a screening and training process that is funded under the bill.
Bay District Schools Superintendent, Bill Husfelt, said the program is equivalent to law enforcement training, and not everyone can qualify.
“There’s a psychological part that goes along with it, there’s 130 hours of training which includes all kinds of law enforcement training — it’s in-depth. I mean it’s not something that someone says on a whim, ‘I think I’m going to do that,'” he said.
But Husfelt is asking all employees to tell their principals if they are interested in the program.
He will then gather the list of interested Bay District personnel, and work alongside principals, Sheriff Tommy Ford and Security Chief Mike Jones to determine who is eligible.
But Husfelt said the decision to offer the training program to Bay District employees is ultimately up to Sheriff Ford.
“The law specifically gives the authority and the power to do the training and to say yes or no to people that do the training, and whether or not they would do it, that’s totally up to the Sheriff,” he said.
Bay District School employees must let their principals know they are interested in the program by April 20.
The School Board then must give the list of eligible employees to Sheriff Ford by July 1.
If districts choose not to do the training program, the state’s remaining funding for the program will go toward additional security officers in schools.