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Florida Schools Made Their Students Safer By Getting Rid of Gun-Free School Zone Laws And Arming Teachers With the ‘Guardian Program’

If all states adopted the Guardian Program schools would be much safer.

Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida said his deputies are trained to take down any would be attackers before they even get inside their schools and promised, “We’ll shoot you graveyard dead.”

According to Spectrum News, Sheriff Judd was “mortified” when he heard the news of the Uvalde school shooting on Tuesday and he gave a warning out to any people even thinking about going into a Polk Country school to commit a mass shooting, saying, “If you come to a school in this county, armed, we’re going to do our best through either our guardians, our school resource officers, or our school resource deputy sheriffs to eliminate the threat outside of the school before they ever get to the children. We’re trained to do that.”

While holding up a photo of a deputy with a gun, Judd said, “This is the last thing you’ll see before we put a bullet through your head if you’re trying to hurt our children. We are going to shoot you graveyard dead if you come onto a campus, with a gun, threatening our children or shooting at us.”

After the Parkland shooting in February 2018, Florida adopted the Guardian Program. The attacker at Parkland was able to get around the school resource officer and that’s when a commission recommended that schools arm teachers to act as a classroom defense in case an attacker is able to get past the resource officer again. This is the opposite of a Gun-Free School Zone law that turns kids into sitting ducks because they have a zero tolerance policy on guns inside a school and that includes any responsible adults who could fend off a potential mass shooter.

According to the Florida Department of Education, the Guardian Program was established in 2018 through the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

From the FDOE website:

Guardians are armed personnel who aid in the prevention or abatement of active assailant incidents on school premises. They are either school employees who volunteer to serve in addition to official job duties or personnel hired for the specific purpose of serving as a school guardian. Guardians must pass psychological and drug screenings, and successfully complete a minimum of 144 hours of training.

The 2019 Legislature expanded the Guardian program to include Class D and G licensed security guards as well as certain school district or charter school employees who volunteer to participate in the program.

State funds are granted to participating Sheriff’s Offices to cover the screening and training costs for each Guardian. Also, Guardians receive a one-time stipend of $500 for serving in the program.

For schools in need of Guardians, but located in districts that do not have a Guardian program, those schools may arrange for training with another sheriff’s office that has established a Guardian program.

Currently, the 45 counties listed below are participating in the Guardian Program. The Florida Department of Education continues to work with school districts and Sheriffs’ Offices who are interested in joining the program, and this list will be updated to reflect any additional changes.

  • Alachua

  • Baker

  • Bay

  • Bradford

  • Brevard

  • Broward

  • Citrus

  • Clay

  • Dade

  • Duval

  • Escambia

  • Franklin

  • Gadsden

  • Gilchrist

  • Hamilton

  • Hendry

  • Hernando

  • Hillsborough

  • Holmes

  • Jackson

  • Lafayette

  • Lake

  • Leon

  • Madison

  • Manatee

  • Marion

  • Martin

  • Nassau

  • Okaloosa

  • Okeechobee

  • Orange

  • Osceola

  • Palm Beach

  • Pasco

  • Pinellas

  • Polk

  • Putnam

  • Sarasota

  • St. Johns

  • Sumter

  • Suwannee

  • Taylor

  • Volusia

  • Wakulla

  • Walton

The commission said that in the end, armed teachers could have made a difference in the outcome of what happened at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

I have been screaming from the rooftops about getting rid of the ridiculous Gun-Free School Zone laws and it looks like Florida has done it.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, head of the Parkland commission, was initially against teachers being armed inside school, but after coming around to accepting the idea has since said, “People need to keep an open mind to it, as the reality is that if someone else in that school had a gun it could have saved kids’ lives.”

Hopefully, other states will smarten up and get rid of Gun-Free School Zone laws and stop the vicious cycle of allowing mass shootings because you believe in leftist ideology. Just try it and you will probably never again have to give virtue-signaling speeches about having even more gun control laws when the ones you had at schools made them deathtraps.

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