State Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, is urging Gov. Rick Scott to provide funding for school resource officers his budget in light of the Connecticut school massacre a week ago.
Scott will release his proposed budget in the New Year and, in an interview on NewsMax on Thursday, he said he is open to allowing teachers to carry weapons. Download Fasano letter on resource officers
"Although there are no guarantees, it is quite possible that the mere presence of a law enforcement officer on campus may be enough of a deterrent to curb or totally prevent school-based violence,'' Fasano wrote. "While this no doubt will be an expensive proposition, no price tag can be placed on the lives of the precious children our public schools are entrusted with each and every day of the school year."
Fasano's request comes after a parade of similar requests from across the state. David Golt, chief of Broward School's Special Investigative Unit, has called for funding for more resource officers.
Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and the county superintendent of schools made a similar request of the governor, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. Earlier in the week, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs proposed adding armed deputies at Central Florida elementary schools.
Others are calling for arming teachers with weaponry. Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said teachers and principals should be allowed to carry guns. Baxley, an ardent guns rights advocate, is one of the authors of the state's controversial Stand Your Ground law.
Meanwhile, Scott has urged all local school officials to review their security plans but he has been reluctant to outline details or suggest additional funding for the effort.
Scott spokesman John Tupps said Friday the governor remains open to all ideas.
"Gov. Scott agrees that school safety is an important issue for Florida families,'' Tupps said in a statement. "As he finalizes his budget recommendations, he looks forward to working with legislators and others on their ideas.