Brevard County sheriff halts proposal to arm teachers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — After weeks of support, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey now wants to hold off on a controversial proposal to arm some school staffers.

The sheriff said the focus on such a hot-button topic is holding up other safety improvements.

Ivey first brought up the on-site marshal program in February.

Ivey released last week a four-layer approach to protect schools, including arming some personnel.

“This is not about politics, the Second Amendment or automatic weapons. This is about protecting our children and educators today,” Ivey said.

Ivey now wants to hold off on the program. He told the superintendent in an email that "this single layer has effectively stopped the entire process," expressing concern that plans to add more resource officers and harden schools are being delayed by all the focus on possibly giving guns to staff.

“If the cops can't get there or parents can't get there, somebody's got to protect the kids somehow,” said parent Stacey Hornsby.

The sheriff's letter said the most important part of his plan involves placing one resource officer in every school. He said delaying the marshal program will give the school board more time to focus on that.

The sheriff said the school board could discuss arming staffers at a later date once the other priorities are in place.

Channel 9's Michael Lopardi asked to speak with the sheriff Wednesday, but a spokesman said he's out of town.

A superintendent told Lopardi in a statement that he agrees with the sheriff.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi joined Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter in April 2015.