Brevard Public Schools will arm school staff with guns in surprise, unexpected vote

Brevard Public Schools voted on Tuesday to expand the Guardian Program, arming school staff with guns on campus. 

Some community members were unhappy with the vote, as the agenda item was pulled Monday night and brought back up about an hour before the meeting. 

The vote also caught FOX 35 News off guard. We’ve been following this issue for months and were told in writing by the school district on Monday that it was not being voted on because the district needed more time to make revisions to the agreement between the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and BPS.

FOX 35's Esther Bower found out when parents started texting her during the meeting Tuesday morning that the vote was happening. Several parents wanted to speak on this issue and now feel blindsided.

"This is literally putting guns inches away from the faces of our youngest students," said BPS parent Kelly Kervin. 

The board said teachers won’t be armed, but non-teaching school staff can volunteer and apply for the new role. Once they have completed a training course through the sheriff's office, those staff members can carry guns.


"Every day that we wait, and we delay and take longer is a day that our students and our staff is not as safe as they possibly could be," said school board chair Megan Wright.

Wright spearheaded the initiative last year, but the surprise vote isn’t sitting well with everyone. Jennifer Jenkins was the only board member to vote against the expansion on Tuesday. 

"Not only was this removed, inquiries that were made were given a solid response in writing that this would be placed on the June 25th agenda. That’s a problem. That’s a severe problem of communication and transparency," said Jenkins, asking the board not to rush the vote. 

Kervin attended the meeting in person but was uninformed that a vote would happen on the controversial measure. 

"I got plenty of texts from people going, ‘I would have been there if I knew,’" said Kervin. "We believed the lie, too. We trusted what the district said."

Kervin said only a handful of people were in the room at the meeting. She doesn’t think it’s right to pass something that impacts so many people when the public is left in the dark.

"You had people in the room who didn’t speak about this issue because we were told it wasn’t going to be an issue," concluded Kervin. 

School board member Jennifer Jenkins said she was told this was going back up for a vote around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Training will start with the sheriff's office in July.