It was a class full of teachers learning the basics of self-defense, behind the trigger of a gun.
The event was held at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Safety Harbor. The students/teachers were learning the ins and outs of Florida's Concealed Carry Weapons Permit.
The class normally costs $75; there was no cost on Saturday for the Pinellas County educators.
"I've been kind of skirting around the issue of getting a gun again and this opportunity came open," said Oak Grove (Clearwater) Middle School teacher Terri Cunningham. "I decided it's free; don't turn down anything that's free."
The training session was conducted by a Clearwater-based security company International Executive Protection.
They offered the discount because they say there has been a growing interest in concealed carry permits among educators following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
On December 11th, 26 people were shot to death by a lone gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School - among the victims, 20 first-grade students.
"If you're confident with the weapon, if you're confident with your skills, if you're educated and trained properly then you're going to understand how the weapon works, you're not going to be afraid of it and you're going to control the weapon instead of the weapon controlling you," said Lenny Bogdanos of International Executive Protection.
The teachers will not be able to actually carry a concealed weapon into their classrooms once they complete the course. It is against Pinellas County School District policy for anyone, other than a law enforcement officer, to possess a gun on school grounds.
Despite that, instructors say the course is still valuable for these educators.
"I just want them to be safely educated so that they don't harm themselves or anyone else," Bogdanos added.
Teachers, as you can imagine, appreciate the practice.
"Anything in life that you do that you want to get good at you have to practice it," explained Cunningham.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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