Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor is adamantly against arming teachers in Florida classrooms saying that “black kids would serve as target practice with armed white teachers”.
Procter wrote a letter to the legislative leaders of Florida stating his opinion that “the unarmed children of black taxpayers would become nothing more than target practice for trigger happy teachers”.
Proctor continued his strong comments in the letter stating “the fear of black children by white teachers translates as a high and disproportionate rate of school suspensions of black school children.”
Proctor believes adding guns to the mix would only equal bad results for black students. He cites an article in the Tallahassee Democrat that suggested black students would be more likely to be a victim of gun violence by their white teachers.
Despite black students and white students each making up about 45% of the population of Leon County students, black students in Leon County are 4.4 times more likely to be suspended than white students.
Black students made up a staggering 76% of those disciplined with out of school suspension. A recent study done by Tallahassee Democrat found that in 2015-2016, there were 2,591 students that were given out of school suspension. Of those, 1,971 were black students, just 441 students, about 17%, were white students.
While Democrats are frivolously trying to dispose of this school marshal program that would allow teachers to be armed, the bill is constantly gaining momentum.
Rather than completely trying to scrap it, Democrat leaders are at least trying to amend it heavily, to make sure minorities are not targeted by white teachers.
These comments from the commissioner have left Leon County Superintendent of Schools Rocky Hanna furious.
Hanna was upset with Proctor not because he believes teachers should be armed, as he is on record being against it, but because Proctor’s comments undermine the professionalism, and character of the teachers in Leon County.
“If you’re going to carry a weapon on campus, in my opinion, you are going to have a badge, you are going to be an officer of the law”, Hanna said in his public statement.
“Commissioner Bill Proctor should be ashamed of himself for the letter he sent to legislative leaders yesterday. He should immediately apologize to the thousands of teachers in Leon County, including my wife, who wake up every day to make a difference in the lives of students, no matter the color of their skin.”
Students in Leon County are not exactly sure teachers being armed would make them feel safe.
“While school shootings are certainly a tragic situation, arming teachers to try to combat these things that happen intermittently is not a good idea.,” said Rickards junior Namani Hamilton
Hamilton continued to say, “You would probably here more unfortunate stories of teachers feeling threatened and shooting a student, than you would of a teacher shooting and killing a potential mass murder whose intentions were to shoot up a school”
The bill continues to be negotiated and talked about, with a vote expected to come in the coming weeks.