COOPER CITY, Fla. – Parents and students who spoke to Local 10 News on Friday had mixed reactions to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel's decision to issue rifles to trained resource deputies at local public schools.
"It's great that they're beefing up security," one Cooper City High School parent, Carlos Garcia, said. "It provides a sense of safeness for the kids and for everyone who works here, and it's great. We need it."
Others were worried that the change was a step in the wrong direction.
"It makes me worried, because that could be the first step leading to what Trump said, that he might arm teachers with guns," student Mandy Jaiang said. "I really don't want that to happen."
A week after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Israel announced that his school resource deputies would now be armed with more powerful weapons.
On Friday, Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos spotted a student resource deputy on the campus of Cooper City High School, walking the perimeter of the school.
The sheriff said deputies who are qualified and trained to carry the rifles will do so on a rifle sling that will be on their person and visible.
The sheriff said the superintendent also supports the decision.
Deputies gathered outside the school in Cooper City before sending units out on patrol. Deputies said they decided to do so to let their presence be known to the community.
They said they also informed administrators at Cooper City High School that they would be having that meeting, so no one was alarmed.