Educator says he’s willing to arm himself to protect students

Educator says he’s willing to arm himself to protect students. (WPEC)

Florida lawmakers are debating the pros and cons of arming certain, trained school staff with guns on campus.

At one school in our area, the headmaster says it would not be wise to arm classroom teachers.

However, they do have one educator on this campus who is more than capable of handling a gun and is ready to carry it at school.

“I’d be willing to do it if my school wanted me to do it because I care about my kids. They shouldn’t have to worry about their safety coming to school,” said Matt Morse, dean of students at American Heritage School of Boca-Delray.

Since 2009, Morse has been the dean of students at American Heritage School of Boca-Delray, a private school grades pre-K through 12 with about 1500 students.

If the Florida Legislature gives schools the green light to put armed educators on campus, Morse is ready and willing to carry a gun at school.

He spent 8 years in the Marine Corps, and has 4 years’ experience as a sheriff’s deputy in South Florida.

He’s been trained to use assault rifles and handguns and is just the kind of person that some lawmakers feel should be armed on campus.

The school already has an armed Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy. They hired a deputy for additional security following the shooting spree Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“Having somebody else possibly armed that does have extensive training that can assist, let’s say a law enforcement officer, I think it could add value and protection,” said Morse.

Morse says classroom teachers should not be armed.

The school feels it may be wise to have someone with a gun who knows how to use it.

“It really has to be active, well-trained people that are willing and expecting to have to jump in if need be,” said Robert Stone, headmaster at American Heritage School of Boca-Delray.

Parents agree arming teachers would not be a good thing. Too much could go wrong.

But if the dean of students wants to be armed, they would go along with it.

Luisa Linett, has two girls ages 6 and 8 who attend the school.

“That would probably make people think twice about doing something stupid, you know,” Linett said.

“He obviously has extensive firearms training. I don’t think I would be necessarily opposed to that,” said Rasa Regan, a parent from Jupiter whose daughter is an 11th grader at the school.

The Florida Senate has already approved a bill that allows for certain school staff members, not full-time teachers, to be armed after extensive training.

The bill has not yet passed the House.

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