FL Senate passes school safety, education bills; allows some teachers to carry guns

Kristi Gilroy (R), hugs a young woman at a police check point near the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed by a gunman, on February 15, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Senate passed a new school safety bill on Monday. 

The legislation puts new restrictions on rifle sales, and allows for some teachers to carry guns on school property. 

Florida Senate also approved a bill that could set up the nation’s first ever private school voucher program for bullied students under a sweeping education bill that the state Legislature passed.

Following a narrow vote in the Florida Senate, the House voted late Monday to send the legislation to Gov. Rick Scott.

If the governor signs the bill, students who are victims of bullying and other types of violence can move to a different public school or receive a private school voucher.

The sweeping bill also includes a requirement that all schools must display the words “In God We Trust” under a measure passed by the Florida Senate. It also offers tutoring help to students who perform badly on the state’s standardized reading test.

Democrats criticized the bill and said it would create another voucher program that would divert money away from public schools.