One school has had enough of living in fear for the safety of the students. Looking to take a serious stance against school shooters, the administration has hired two combat veterans armed with semiautomatic rifles for protection.
State legislation requires that schools have at least one “safe-school” officer. However, Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Fl is done taking chances.
“We’re not looking for a fair fight,” school principal Bill Jones shared about active shooter threats. “We’re looking at an overwhelming advantage.”
Jones explained that he wanted vets that could be trusted to act appropriately and decisively in the event of an attack.
“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.”
Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler also defended the use of semiautomatic weapons for the defenders, despite some being uncomfortable with the idea.
“Assault rifles, whether you are for them or against them, are prolific in our society,” Tyler told the Herald-Tribune. “So why would we not want the school guardian to have parity with that potential threat?”
Principal Jones noted that for the most part parents have been accepting of the move. He specified that the guards had a minimum of 132 training hours with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department. Their weapons will not be stored on campus and the guards keep the chamber empty while doing standard patrols.
While some have balked that the guards each will have a $50,000 salary, Jones declared that the safety of student lives is worth every penny.