After about seven hours of angry, sometimes deeply painful debate about race and gun violence that spanned two days, the Florida House passed a bill Wednesday that would allow classroom teachers to be armed an expansion of the program it created last year after the Parkland shooting. The debate at times reached emotional heights that had Democrats shouting or tearing up as black members delved into details about their personal experiences with racism and their deep-seated fears about minority children being targeted by teachers who have guns. The bill is now on its way to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. For teachers and other staff to be armed, school districts must opt-in to the so-called “Guardian program,” which allows teachers and other staff to volunteer to carry a gun on campus after undergoing screening and training by a local sheriff’s office.

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