Almost a year after the Parkland school shooting, another Florida school is taking extra measures to make sure their students stay safe.
Manatee School For the Arts is a charter school in Palmetto, Florida. The school has decided to hire two veterans that are heavily armed as a way to deter potential school shooters.
Principal Bill Jones believes these measures are necessary given the recent threats to school safety.
“If someone walks onto this campus, they’re going to be shot and killed,” Jones said in an interview the Bradenton Herald. “We’re not going to talk with them. We’re not going to negotiate. We are going to put them down, as quickly as possible.”
Jones said that the Parkland shooting demonstrated how much can happen in a few minutes.
“We’ve had a couple of incidents and we just called and they’re here in three minutes,” Jones told the station. “Unfortunately, you look at Parkland and in three minutes how many people were killed. So you know you can’t expect much more from the police, there’s only so much they can do and the rest of it is your responsibility.”
When asked about the reason they specifically hired veterans, Jones explained that in case of an emergency, the school wanted people who knew how to handle pressure in high-risk situations.
“If you’re ever going to have an event on campus, I don’t want it to be the first time they’ve been shot at,” Jones said. “I don’t want them trying to figure who they are and how they are going to respond. That’s a life-changing experience and these folks, I don’t want this to be the first time they’ve asked themselves, ‘What am I going to do?’”
Many Republican lawmakers, including President Donald Trump, have called for armed faculty in schools. Although Manatee School For the Arts may be one of the first to take action, more schools may follow in their footsteps.