Senator Rick Scott introduced a bill on Tuesday that seeks to redirect funds intended for the hiring of thousands of extra Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees and instead establish a grant program aimed at empowering schools nationwide to hire armed law enforcement officers.
The newly proposed School Guardian Act would divert around $80 billion that Congress previously greenlighted to scale the IRS up in size, instead putting it toward initiatives that aim to stop school shootings such as the recent tragic event at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee that left three children and three staffers dead.
Red Voice Media shared a clip taken from a press conference on the proposal:
Florida Senator Rick Scott makes major school safety announcement…
— Red Voice Media (@redvoicenews) April 25, 2023
According to PBS, parents of victims in another tragic school shooting, the 2018 killings in Parkland, Florida, have indicated that they support Scott’s legislative proposal.
“If we can’t prevent them, then we know having an armed response on campus is the fastest way to stop these attacks,” said Ryan Petty, a state Board of Education member whose 14-year-old daughter, Alaina, passed away in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. “This bill is incredibly important.”
The outlet reported that the proposal is based on legislation passed by then-governor Scott after the Parkland shooting in Florida.
“It’s too bad we have to think about this, but we do,” Scott reportedly stated while discussing how to react to such tragedies at a news conference in Naples, Florida. “The truth is, every school is going to need law enforcement. Every kid ought to be protected.”
Tony Montalto, who lost his 14-year-old daughter following the shooting at the Parkland school, appeared to echo Scott’s sentiments. The Parkland parent stressed that nobody “should have to go through the indescribable heartbreak of having their child or spouse murdered at school,” and argued that it is of tantamount importance for parents to feel secure in “sending kids to school every day.”
Speaking on his proposal, Scott explained that there will “be an armed police officer or a sheriff’s deputy or an individual who has completed the rigorous training produced through the Guardian program at all these schools,” per OANN.