NICEVILLE — The Okaloosa County School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the implementation of the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which will allow trained school employees to voluntarily carry weapons.

The vote came after 23 people offered their opinions about the program, some for and some opposed.

Roxie Tew, a former teacher with the county, posed several questions to the board, including how the program will be funded, is the training amount enough and if the board has polled how the teachers feel about having people other than a school resource officer armed.

Several sported red “Moms Demand Action” shirts.

Although many of those who spoke were parents, grandparents, or former teachers, a student at Destin Middle School and a recent Fort Walton Beach High School graduate said they opposed they program.

"Please, for the sake of my peers and the students of Okaloosa County, recognize that the risk of adding to the victims of gun violence in our region outweighs," said Roxanne Daniel, who organized last year's local "March for our Lives" event. "I stand firmly opposed to the adoption of SB (Senate Bill) 7030."

Those who supported the guardian program included Okaloosa County Republican Party Chairman Jeff Hinkle.

Sandra Atkinson of Fort Walton Beach read a letter to the board that she said was from Coach Aaron Feis' mother.

“I’m just appalled that the 'Mom's Demand Action' come up here and speak when a lot of them haven't even read the bill," Atkinson said. "If you're going to defend your position, at least be well informed. It's just ludicrous some of the questions they were asking you, and I'm sorry you have to listen to that”

 Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley spoke in full support of adopting the program.

“It would be my goal and my recommendation that every teacher and staff member that’s capable to be armed, be armed,” Ashley said.

Ashley said the process to become a guardian would be thorough, with the decision to arm a teacher ultimately coming down to Superintendent Marcus Chambers and Ashley.

"I'm certainly never going to put somebody in that situation that I wouldn’t trust with my own kids who attend Okaloosa County schools as well," Ashley said.

Ashley said the program is only one of three safety measures that will be taken. Another safety measure will be access to live video feed in schools by the Sheriff's Office.

Guardians are required to go through firearm safety and proficiency training, pass a psychological evaluation, pass drug tests, and complete certified diversity training.

After the vote passed, Josh Ashley of Valpraiso, revisited the podium after expressing disapproval of the program earlier.

"Instead of making me feel safer as a dad, which I know was your intent, you've condemned me to more than a decade being more terrified than I was before," he said.

Chambers said the guardian program is just one of several school safety measures the district is considering.

"To me it's a sad day and age where we're even having to have this type of discussions in schools," Chambers said.

Also Tuesday, the School Board approved a $4 million district-wide school safety upgrade project. The board did not give further information on the project, citing safety concerns.