Rubio Visits FAMU



U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said he was opposed to arming public school teachers during a brief visit at Florida A&M University, Tuesday.

“I don’t support the teacher arming thing. Number one, to be frank, there are some teachers I don’t want armed,” Rubio said. “I worry that if there is a shooting and the SWAT team comes in and they see a man or a woman holding a gun their going to shoot them, because in their mind an adult is on campus doing this.”

In lieu of the tragic events at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL., students and supporters across the country have protested for stricter gun laws.

Earlier in March, Gov. Rick Scott R-FL signed a bill that would allocate $400 million to fund school security measures. Among other things, the bill would allow school employees to be armed on school campuses.

Rubio met with international students, journalism students, and a few students from the state college system and dual enrollment in a conference room in the School of Architecture & Engineering Technology.

Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson are currently brainstorming incentives for more states to adopt a program tailored around preventative gun violence measures.

A proposed solution for public safety is the Extreme Risk Protection Order, also known as the red flag law, which is only in a few states. This order allows for a family member or police to identify an individual who may be potentially violent to the masses or themselves.

The proposal would make it possible for a judge to issue an order, allowing law enforcement to revoke gun privileges from potential mass shooters.  The order would stop possible threats from buying new guns for up to a year.

Interim Dean of Architecture, Andrew Chin, mentioned protocol if an incident occurred on FAMU’s campus.

“Everyone who works here on campus, if they know about an incident they are supposed to report it,” Chin said.

Gun legislation was not the only talking point for Rubio.  He addressed three points that he is trying to offer students to avoid some of the expenses of higher education.

One of his points was to allow students to get credit from experiences in the work field, rather than being in a classroom.

Secondly, the senator touched on was what he called, “the right to know before you go.” This initiative would inform students on the average salary of their preferred profession before enrolling in school, thereby avoiding debt.

His final alternative to student loans was called the Student Investment Plan, which involves a company or private investor contributing to a student’s tuition. After graduation, the student would pay one percent of his or her income to that company or investor.

Rubio expounded on an offer called income based payment, which means loans payments will be based off income.

Earlier this week Rubio received backlash from the supports of the March for Our Lives rallies for stating that he respects their views but does not “agree with all of the solutions they propose.”

Rubio stated that making a change requires “finding a common ground with those who hold opposing views.”

Since then Rubio has been criticized by many survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.