May 27, 2022

Florida Schools Promote Hiring Armed ‘Guardians’ After Texas School Shooting

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By Lydia Nusbaum

May 27, 2022 Updated 3:40 P.M. ET

POLK COUNTY (FLV) – Polk County Public Schools tweeted Thursday, just days after the tragic elementary shooting in Texas, that they are hiring people to participate in the state’s “Guardian Program.”

Florida established the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program through the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Act allowing certain armed and trained personnel to protect students at schools. Guardians can be school district or charter school employees, including teachers, who volunteer to serve as a Guardian on top of their official duties.

The Santa Rosa County School District posted its first job listing to hire “Guardians” as their program is in “test mode.”

The Guardian Program was created after 17 people died in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

School districts can choose to opt into the program. There are currently 45 out of 67 Florida counties participating in the Guardian Program.

Each Guardian must complete a 144-hour training program. This includes 12 hours of diversity training and 132 hours of comprehensive firearm safety and proficiency training. The sheriff’s office could choose to require additional hours. 

Candidates must also pass a psychological evaluation and should complete ongoing training and weapon inspection.

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