For most parents, I think there is little question that their desire to protect and defend the lives of their children is at the very top of their priorities. In recent years we have had numerous mass shootings in schools. The school zones were designated as Gun-Free, but that turned out to be an open invitation, considering that in each case of the most serious slaughters, a single individual was able to kill many others before being stopped by authorities. The good news is, not everyone is sitting on their hands waiting for something to be done to protect their schools.
From The Blaze:
A school in Florida is taking school safety so seriously that it has hired two combat veterans armed with semiautomatic rifles to patrol and guard the campus against potential threats, according to The New York Times.
Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Florida, hired the school guardians to comply with state legislation requiring schools to have at least one “safe-school” officer. Principal Bill Jones said they have good reason to go above and beyond the minimum requirements.
“We’re not looking for a fair fight,” Jones said of potential active shooter situations. “We’re looking at an overwhelming advantage.”
One of the guards has 15 years of infantry experience, and the second veteran guardian will start working later in February. Jones wanted combat veterans who can be trusted to react quickly and correctly under fire.
“I wouldn’t hire anybody who hadn’t been shot at and fired back,” Jones said. “I need someone who has been in that situation.”
The Palmetto Police chief supports the use of semiautomatic weapons, something not everyone was comfortable with.
“Assault rifles, whether you are for them or against them, are prolific in our society,” Chief Scott Tyler said in December to the Herald-Tribune. “So why would we not want the school guardian to have parity with that potential threat?”
Jones said parents have been generally accepting of the guards, who were trained by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department and had to complete at least 132 hours of firearm safety and proficiency training.
The weapons are not stored on campus, and the guards are required to keep the chambers empty while they are patrolling.
The guardians’ salaries of about $50,000 “substantially exceeds” the state allocation the school received, but Jones believes the students’ safety is worth the cost.
Source: The Blaze
I’ve seen many responses by combat veterans who have said they would be willing to put themselves in harm’s way again for the benefit of protecting children in schools. It’s good to see that at least one jurisdiction is taking them up on their offer.
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