Gov. Rick Scott says he does not want to arm Florida's teachers

Scott puts focus on strengthening law enforcement

By Ross Palombo - Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump held a meeting with the nation's governors Monday on how to address school shootings.

During the 75-minute event, Trump called on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to outline the steps he is taking to respond to the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland. 

Scott said he plans to increase funding to protect schools and to tighten gun restrictions on those with mental health issues.

"I have $500 million expectations out of my legislature. I've been talking to them all weekend. I'm going to focus every day on making sure we get that money and we get the law enforcement and we get the mental health counselors. We're going to do the right things in our state," Scott told Local 10 News White House Correspondent Ross Palombo after the meeting.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, one of two Democrats to address Trump publicly, spoke up in condemnation of Trump's calls to arm teachers to respond to school shootings.

Inslee told the president, "We need a little less Tweeting, a little more listening." 

Trump defended the proposal, saying he believes "retribution" is the only way to prevent more school shootings.

He also said he doesn't want all teachers to carry guns -- just those who have a "natural talent."

Scott told Palombo that he does not agree with the president’s suggestion to arm teachers.

"I believe we ought to make sure we have law enforcement presence, we make sure they're trained," Scott said. "I want to make sure that all our budgets go through our sheriff's departments to make sure that they know how the money is going to be spent, because they're responsible for our law enforcement."

Scott said there are some states where teachers are already armed, but he said he wants to put the focus in Florida on strengthening law enforcement. 

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