The Gainesville City School District plans to spend nearly $1 million on hiring an armed security guard to stand guard in every single one of its buildings. At a school board meeting Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Williams announced the plan, acknowledging they’re doing this because of the mass shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
\Dr. Williams said that after Uvalde, the district needs to have a conversation about what it can do “that would add a layer of security and safety to the district” while “still making it an encouraging place to be.” The armed guards would be in addition to school resource officers supplied by Gainesville police as there are not enough city officers to be placed in every single school.
Some parents of kids in the district, like Lauren Gibson, like the idea, especially after seeing the tragedy unfold in Uvalde. She thinks on-site armed guards could intervene faster than the police.
“I think it might make a difference with somebody being there immediately,” Gibson said.
Gibson insisted that the guards need to be very well-trained, especially since they will be around children.
“I think as much as possible, definitely. They definitely need to be aware of kids being around them, but you can never be too careful about ensuring that your students, staff and families are safe,” she said.
As of now no parents opposed the plan but that could change as news of the plan reaches more people. Williams said the plan is to try and hire retired or active law enforcement officers as guards, professionals who already know what to look for and what to do if they see something suspicious.