Gilchrist County School District approves new "School Guardian" program

A North Central Florida school district has decided to approve the new "School Guardian" program.

This program allows some school staff members to carry guns on campus.

On Tuesday night, the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office hosted a town hall meeting where the sheriff announced the school district is saying yes to arming some employees.

Last week, the Guardian Program was passed unanimously by the school board.

Currently, Gilchrist County schools have resource deputies patrolling the campuses.

“Now, we'll have a couple people who will be trained per Florida Statute, Florida Law that can respond to these issues a little quicker and maybe save some lives,” Sheriff Bobby Schultz said.

Volunteers will be unpaid and will have to be a part of the school staff.

They will have to go through more than 130 hours of training.

Volunteers will have to be approved by the Sheriff.

A psychology exam and a background check will also have to be passed.

"If there is a school shooting, they should be able to defend themselves instead of having to run and hide. if we can help save the life of a child, by arming them, me personally I think it's a great idea."

Superintendent Rob Rankin says he's in support of the program.
He also says more than a dozen staff members have already reached out to him saying they're interested.

Both the Sheriff and the Superintendent say they hope to have all Guardian Program volunteers trained by the beginning of the school year.