A school in Palmetto, Florida is taking school safety to new levels, hiring combat veterans in body armor and armed with semi-automatic rifles to protect students from potential school shooters.
The principal at Manatee School for the Arts, Bill Jones, told the New York Times he wants to prepared for potential threats.
“We’re not looking for a fair fight,”he said. “We’re looking at an overwhelming advantage.”
Even though anti-gun advocates will predictably freak out about the “assault rifles,” the principal knows enough about guns to know rifles are a “much more effective weapon than the handgun is” in a critical situation.
Further, the combat veterans tasked with protecting the students know exactly what it’s like to be in a deadly situation.
"I wouldn't hire anybody who hadn't been shot at and fired back," Jones added. "I need someone who has been in that situation."
One of the fathers of a student killed in the Parkland shooting endorsed the school's action.
"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 and high school students, is the only school in Manatee County that chose to hire guards who carry rifles, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department, which trained the guards,” the New York Times reported.
The report added: "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 week, gave schools the option of choosing between a school resource officer, who is employed by a law enforcement agency; a school safety officer, who is 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.”
What do you think of the school’s plan to protect students with combat veterans?