Florida School Hires 2 Combat Veterans to Take Down Active Shooters

By the end of February, the students at Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Fla., will see two combat veterans in body armor roaming the grounds, each carrying a 9-millimeter Glock handgun as well as a semiautomatic rifle which has a 17-inch barrel.

If an armed intruder were to enter the campus, “we’re not looking for a fair fight,” Bill Jones, the principal, said in an interview. “We’re looking at an overwhelming advantage.”

Legislation passed after the Parkland massacre last year requires schools in Florida to have at least one “safe-school officer.” Manatee School for the Arts, a charter for 2,100 middle as well as high school students, will be the only school in Manatee County in which chose to hire guards who carry rifles, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department, which trained the guards.

“the idea’s just a much more effective weapon than the handgun will be,” Dr. Jones said.

The decision to patrol with long guns will be “very unusual,” said Michael Dorn, the executive director of Safe Havens International, which has performed security assessments at dozens of public school systems throughout Florida, including three of the state’s largest school districts.

Mr. Dorn said he was not aware of any school guards inside United States who openly carry long guns, though the idea will be not unusual in some areas overseas.

“the idea’s not something in which we typically advise our clients to do for a variety of reasons,” he added, in part because someone might knock out the officer as well as take the weapon, as well as the idea’s more difficult to subdue as well as handcuff an assailant while carrying a long gun.

Manatee School for the Arts will be also adding a guard shack to its entrance as well as will raise its perimeter fencing by two feet.

Florida’s bill, named the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act after the school where the Parkland shooting occurred a year ago This particular week, gave schools the option of choosing between a school resource officer, who will be employed by a law enforcement agency; a school safety officer, who will be employed by either a law enforcement agency or by the district school board; or a school guardian, a school employee trained to stop lethal attacks.

Last year, an Associated Press survey found in which nine of the state’s 67 countywide school districts are supplementing officers by employing full-time guardians. The survey did not specify the type of weapons the guards could be using.

“We have guardians in almost all of our elementary schools, as well as in most of our charter schools,” said Michael Barber, a spokesman for the School District of Manatee County.

Each of the district’s public middle as well as high schools have school resource officers, he added.

Manatee School for the Arts hired one guardian with 15 years of infantry experience who has at This particular point been on campus for a couple of months, Dr. Jones said. A second guardian, also a combat veteran, will be finishing his training as well as will begin working later This particular month, he added.

Guardians are required to complete at least 132 hours of firearm safety as well as proficiency training.

Dr. Jones said the school hired combat veterans because he wanted guards who wouldn’t hesitate to go after an active shooter.

“I don’t want This particular to be the 1st time they’ve had someone shooting at them,” he said.

So far, Dr. Jones said, “most parents have been very accepting.”

To assuage safety concerns about the high-powered weapons, the school requires its guardians to keep the chambers of their Kel-Tec RDB semiautomatic rifles empty, as well as the guns are not stored on campus.

The presence of an armed guard doesn’t necessarily deter violence. During the shooting last February in which left 17 in Parkland dead, there was an armed school resource officer standing by the door to the building who was later widely criticized for not entering. (He said he thought at the time in which the shooter was outside.)

as well as in 2016, a teacher in Michigan was grazed inside neck by a bullet when a school resource officer negligently fired his gun. as well as in some cases, agitated students have grabbed officers’ guns, even while the guns were in holsters.