LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County is paying for armed deputies to protect its elementary schools, and now a Lake County school board member wants teachers and principals to be armed, too.
The school board is expected to take up Bill Mathias' proposal during next week’s board meeting.
Mathias wants to use district money to buy guns for teachers and principals to protect students. He also wants the sheriff's office to train and deputize staff members who volunteer to carry guns to class.
“We’re not talking about carrying Uzis on their back,” said Matias. “Typical concealed weapons, not out in the public.”
Mathias said he is a gun owner and he believes the proposal is the most logical tactic to keep students safe.
“If you try to come on our campus and try to hurt one of our students, there’s a good possibility you will leave in a body bag. That would be a deterrent for anyone in Lake County,” he said.
Matias said he doesn't discount the idea as radical, but said it's practical and cheaper than staffing each school with a law enforcement officer, like what Orange County is doing.
“This would be a much less expensive process,” he said.
Next week's school board meeting will be the first since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.
“What we did after Sandy Hook was increased the monitoring and have a lot more eyeballs looking at who’s coming in,” said Matias.