School board may allow responsible seniors to carry guns to class

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By Frank Fencil | frank.fencil@springhillcourier.com

BROOKSVILLE, Florida — The Hernando County School Board is scheduled to vote a resolution that would allow some responsible students to bring guns on campus next year.

If the resolution passes, a student who wishes to carry a firearm to school must be a senior with a 2.5 GPA or higher, no more than four office referrals in the previous grading term and may not have been caught with a gun on campus prior to the 2014-15 school year. The proposal’s creators said these rules will be strictly enforced to ensure safety and foster a sense of responsibility.

“We want to make sure that students understand that carrying a firearm is a privilege, not a right,” said Hernando County Schools director Gillian Fowell, who sponsored the resolution. “We think they’re going to learn a lot about being a grownup from this exercise.”

A group of Central High School students showed up to the meeting to show their support, donning T-shirts that read “Slingin’ Seniors 2015.”

There was already opposition present, too. Three parents gave impassioned speeches about the inherent dangers of allowing teenagers to carry weapons on campuses. Several school board members appeared sympathetic to their pleas until Fowell took to the podium to point out that ROTC programs have carried what she said were very real-looking rifles on campus for years without incident.

Frank Fencil

Frank Fencil is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades' experience. He has uncovered government corruption, toppled dirty police forces and covered two foreign wars as an international correspondent. He chose to return to his native Spring Hill in hopes of giving his hometown the quality watchdog journalism it deserves.

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