Thursday, August 22, 2013

Commission Candidate Advocates Arming Teachers; School System and Sheriff Disagree

SATELLITE BEACH, Florida – A candidate for the county commission in 2014 is encouraging public school teachers to become reserve police officers so they can be armed while in their schools.  And he is putting his family’s money where his mouth is.

Richard Charbonneau – Republican candidate for County Commission District 14 – announced through a press release email that The Charbonneau Family Foundation has established a scholarship for public school teachers that wish to go to “Basic Law Enforcement Academy” located at the Eastern Florida State College Melbourne campus.

He said, “There is no Florida statute preventing a fully badged officer from being a teacher and a reserve officer at the same time.  There is the Florida statute that prohibits anyone from carrying a weapon in a school, but the exception is any fully badged officer.

“The City of Melbourne, City of Palm Bay and the Brevard Sheriff all have reserve officer programs where a FDLE certified officer can be employed as a reserve officer with the same powers as a full time officer. The intent, which has not been approved, is for the schools to have at least one reserve officer in every school.

“Presently there is no plan and near zero security.  Anyone can enter (schools) unchallenged.  Getting officers certified is not a challenge at all, getting the school board to accept the idea is the challenge.  My belief is that there could be a county ordinance that allows teachers to be officer/teachers.”

Michelle Irwin, Brevard Public Schools Director of District Communications said, “Currently Board policy and hiring practices would not align with this recommendation.  The Board consistently reviews best practices in education and student safety and will continue to make its decisions based on what is best for both the students and staff of Brevard County.”

As well, Sheriff Wayne Ivey stated, "Conceptually speaking, the idea lends merit in helping to discuss an issue we all share great concern over. While the idea is designed to help protect our most precious citizens, the level of commitment and time required to successfully become a Reserve Deputy goes well beyond Law Enforcement Academy attendance and would most likely work against the suggested solution.”

Officials at Eastern Florida had no comment regarding this scholarship as it will not be administered through their foundation.

Charbonneau said that he will be on the scholarship select committee along with a pastor, a psychologist, a retired Brevard County Sheriff Office deputy, a retired Satellite Beach police officer and a retired New York police officer.  Applicants will be subject to a criminal and credit background checks plus psychological testing to qualify for the scholarship.

The foundation is registered as a Florida non-profit organization.

Ivey added, “Our teachers are absolutely incredible and are always willing to do everything they can to help protect a child, however, the additional commitment of a year to conclude a 760 hour Academy, State Certification, 640 hour Field Training program and background process is an incredible impact to both the employees and associated agencies.

“Our Reserve Deputy program is a total success and is comprised of many outstanding members of our community, each who has and continues to volunteer thousands of hours to protect our communities. Our program is designed to limit liability and ensure safety, with our volunteers being provided training and equipment to perform law enforcement duties with the same lawful authority of a Deputy Sheriff.

“While there are many concepts being circulated in an effort to protect our children on school campuses, it is extremely important for all of our citizens to remain vigilant and observant, reporting any suspicious activity that could potentially harm our children and educators."

In addition, Charbonneau has also said that he will only accept a $1.00 salary if elected to the county commission.  He will either give the remainder of the $58,000 salary back to the county coffers or donate it to a local charity.

 For more information on the scholarship, teachers should contact Richard Charbonneau at


  1. A lot of people I know are starting to get pretty upset at how far some things are being taken these days by a minority people who, for whatever reasons, are intent on forcing their way on everyone else. And this is exactly the kind of thing that's upsetting them - and me.

    There's no need for this, except in the minds of those who have been brainwashed into thinking there's a threat around every corner and are simply afraid of anything not behind the walls and gates of their HOA "community."

    Personally, I reject their thinking - and their fear-mongering.

    1. I am a Marine combat veteran. After leaving the military, I went to college and have spent the last 15 years working in schools. Let me just say: This is freaking crazy.

      All the gun-PUSHING, so-called patriots who think this is a good idea need to seek professional help. There is nothing rational or sane about this proposal, it will never become reality.

      You are right, it is fear-mongering, halfwit thinking, garbage.

    2. Uh if you were actually a marine thanks for your service but why hide as anonymous?

      If I were to take a bet I'd bet that the families of the 25 dead would not agree with you. The teachers would be fully badged and trained police officers.

    3. You say: A lot of people I know are starting to get pretty upset at how far some things are being taken these days by a minority people who, for whatever reasons, are intent on forcing their way on everyone else. And this is exactly the kind of thing that's upsetting them - and me.

      There's no need for this, except in the minds of those who have been brainwashed into thinking there's a threat around every corner and are simply afraid of anything not behind the walls and gates of their HOA "community."

      I'll bet that morning in Sandy Hook 26 families agreed with you, but I'll also bet that afternoon 26nfamilies did not agree with you.

    4. More fear-mongering. Pretty sad.

  2. A disaster waiting to happen. I can see the headlines now, Teacher leaves a firearm in a desk drawer that is found by students resulting in the death of a student through an accidental discharge.

    Even worse, students rebel against teacher seizing a firearm leading to a confrontation with police.

    I think a school security officer is all that is needed. Their training and ability to summons other officers through their communications system is all that is required. If a student is that threatening, why is he or she still in school? Maybe it's because of the state money the school receives for these students. What has happened to our society and the American way of life?

    1. The schools are laying off teachers, closing schools, and reducing bussing. You think they should make some more cuts to hire security officers? What next, sell the desks to hire more administrators??

      You do realize that half of security officers are washouts that never made it to the police force, the rest are retirees, un-hirables and criminals. I know, I worked in the industry while attending college after my military service. Beleive me, these are the last people you want armed in a school setting..

    2. Can you read? There was not one mention of security guards, the plan was teachers that have already been vetted, then vet them again a officers, then train them about 1200 hours as officers AND as reserve officers they don't get paid. Dude please stop drinking the bong juice.

      Richard Charbonneau

    3. A disaster waiting to happen. I can see the headlines now, Teacher leaves a firearm in a desk drawer that is found by students resulting in the death of a student through an accidental discharge.

      Did you actually read? Can you read? The teacher would after about one year become a police officer, fully badged with full arrest powers. Ever of a level 3 retention holster, ever hear of a pistol with a build in key? You need to get out some!

    4. Dick, can you read? response about security guards was directed at the comment above mine, which advocated security guards being placed the school. You will never be more than a two-bit local politician with the tact you possess. Trolling opposite opinions on the Internet isn't debate, nor good policy. Enjoy your mediocrity turd.

    5. ok anonymous, got an opinion? step up and have the non-mediocrity to say who you are, else-wise you are a little boy hiding behind a big keyboard!

    6. Says the other anonymous poster..LOL. I am not the one running for office, in the public square advocating stupid ideas. Dick is...My name, frankly is none of your business, nor the cronies of Dick's who would use that info against me..

  3. To my detractors, where to begin?

    1. I actually went to 2 principals and 2 school board members well before making the decision I made. One principal was against it and claimed they had a plan which was no plan. One principal was for it but would not let me use his name unless Sheriff Ivey was pushing for it, because he feared the board and teachers union. One school board member was 100% against it and I stopped counting at 20 for the things she was against. She even went so far as to say that she was not comfortable with any police presence in the schools. Finally one brave school board member agreed that we did need a plan but he was not sure this plan would work and went on to say he didn’t know if any plan was perfect. We agreed that there was no perfect plan..
    2. I agree with my friend Sheriff Ivey becoming a reserve officer with 700 hours of police academy training `and 600 plus hours of field officer training is a tremendous task. I would point out to the Sheriff that he has give or take about 30 reserve officers now that have completed the task.
    3. As to the perfect solution, well Andrea Aldred the school security officer said the perfect solution was to have one SRO (student resource officer) in every Brevard school and 2 in the large schools, I agree 100% this would be the BEST solution, BUT who is going to pay for it, the county is having trouble paying the officers they do have now.
    4. As to a student grabbing the weapon or the officer leaving it lying in the desk. Where to begin? First the writer probably has never held a gun in their hand much less shot one. Second, the SRO officers presently in the schools have level three holsters which are near impossibly for a bag guy or kid to get out. Third one of my .357 revolvers and one of my .45 cal pistols both have a small handcuff looking key that when locked it is impossible for anyone the shoot the weapon other than drilling out the lock.

    1. Part 2:

      5. The same school board member that was against everything said she had no problem what so ever with pilots that have been trained by the marshals carrying weapons on planes. For the life of my I don’t see the difference?
      6. Not one person has come up with an alternative plan. Here is Michelle Irwin’s plan: The Board consistently reviews best practices in education and student safety and will continue to make its decisions based on what is best for both the students and staff of Brevard County.” Read that as we have no plan. Here is the Satellite Beach High plan: Lock down which is locking the doors of each class, HELLO there is a window located over each one of the doorknob/locks and it would take about 2 seconds to brake the glass and open the lock. Great plan!
      7. Lastly and it’s morbid but the truth. I’m betting 100% of the following families wish Principal Hochsprung entered the hall with a weapon rather than her stapler gun as she tried to save her kids. She was a hero and did for it! Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
      - Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male - Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
      - Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
      - Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female - Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
      - Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female - Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
      - Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female - Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
      - Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male - James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
      - Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female - Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
      - Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female - Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
      - Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male - Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
      - Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female - Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
      - Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female, - Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
      - Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female - Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
      - Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

      If the principal could have saved only her life and one student would it have been worth the effort. I’m pretty sure that 26 families agree it would have been worth the effort.

      In summation my plan is far from perfect and my bet is that Sheriff Ivey no stranger of thinking out of the box comes up with a workable solution, and as long as there is evil in people’s hearts there is no perfect plan.

      Got a better plan? Go for it!

    2. I've got a better plan. Do nothing.

    3. I'm sure that is a great plan. Typical!

    4. Let's not forget to look at the thousands of news reports of fully trained and competent gun owners that shoot their kids, leave guns in reach of children, or discharge it "accidentally". We can dance around the issue but the true trouble is guns getting into the hands of those intent on doing harm. Sandy Hook would never have taken place if the person who did it was not handed the weapons to do it. His mother knew he was touched but trained him on using weapons and allowed access to them.
      The second issue is most attackers know the school and would know what teacher to target at the onset of violence. A teacher packing a 9mm is dog-meat when a person enters the room with a locked and loaded AR15, which also marks that classroom for the start of carnage......exactly why I would NOT want my kid in that teachers class.
      What we need is laws that force people to be responsible with firearms.
      Ask any NYC cop and they will tell you a criminal can get a new gun, scrubbed of numbers at anytime. Why? The laws are being abused for purchase of firearms. Criminals also get weapons from owners who don't secure them. These same "trained" owners leave their guns in the nightstand drawer, fully loaded, for protection. Everyone including kids can find these loaded guns......and they find them often.

      Here is the fix:
      1. Enhanced background checks which include mental issues.
      2. Force owners to secure their weapons.
      3. Mandatory reporting of stolen weapons within 24 hours.
      4. Lower magazine capacity.
      5. Cap yearly firearm purchases by a person or Corporation.
      6. Forced Insurance and Registration of Firearms.

      Argue against it, go ahead.
      If the mother of the SH shooter had secured the weapons, there would have been no shooting. If he had less capacity in his weapons, more kids would have had the chance to escape.

      If owners were forced to secure their weapons instead of leaving them on the nightstand, less criminals would have guns. Force them to report the missing weapons or if the weapon turns up and they have not, charge the owner with a felony so they can no longer supply the criminals of the world with weapons.

      Capping purchases stops the black market of gun sales or at the least lessens the amount of guns getting there.

      Will any of this happen? No, the NRA and the money the gun manufacturers make off of death will prevent legislation like this from taking place. In Texas you can leave a weapon unsecured, have a child find it and shoot themselves or another child and you get charged with a misnomer. Because "you suffered enough" from the loss of the child, you should not have to suffer a felony rap and lose your weapons also..........

      Yet nobody can see the problem.

      If I buy a car, I have to have a license to drive it, plus insurance and registration/tags. Cars were not designed for killing, unlike guns are. The gun rights advocates cry a river over registration and insurance because they are afraid of the Gov coming for their guns......while on TV announcing they don't want their guns registered.....oxymoron anyone?

      Force people to register the weapons and carry insurance for them. If they have an incident, the insurance will cost more money (just like a car does). If they can't afford the insurance, sell the weapon(s). The Government can't enforce insurance on weapons if they can't prove who has them.

      Now, this would have to be rules set forth for new purchases as there is no way to track old purchases. Sounds stupid but decades down the road, the fruits of this would be realized.

      I am not a gun hater, I own hunting rifles and store them in a gun forget the "anti second amendment" trash talk as I am for responsible gun ownership, just like a majority of gun owners are.

  4. OK. I'll bite.

    1. " brave school board member..." Is this meant to insinuate that anyone who disagrees is not brave?

    From my perspective, anyone who carries around concealed weapon is simply a coward afraid of the world. Just my opinion.

    1. You'll bite? Brave enough to step up and say he doesn't totally agree with me but does agree doing nothing is not a plan!

    2. Keep talking dick, with every ignorant keystroke, you show us all what a fear-mongering, illogical, scared little bagger you are. Face it, you are a mental midget, not even qualified for local public office. Did you really think that bank account would make up for your lack of brains?