Alliance Board Members on Florida’s ‘Safe-School Officer’ Implementation

Two Secure Schools Alliance board members recently spoke with the Washington Post’s Kayla Epstein about the Florida law requiring schools in the state to employ a “safe-school officer” to guard against active shooters. A school in Manatee County, Florida, hired and armed two combat veterans, which has sparked debate over how best to secure schools.

Alliance Board Member Dr. Erroll Southers told the Post:

“I have to be honest, I have never conducted a [school] assessment where this level of deter and defend was necessary…I teach in Israel, I teach in France, places where terrorism is an issue. I’ve not seen this anywhere, not in an academic and an educational environment.”

Importantly, Florida’s mandated safe-school officers are not necessarily school resource officers. Alliance Board Member Mo Canady, who is also the executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), told the Post:

“The guardian concept, the civilian in there, I get it, and I understand why they might go to that length, being in that part of the state, where they’ve had one of the most horrific shootings ever. It doesn’t surprise me…But it’s not necessarily what we would recommend. We would rather see sworn law enforcement officers, well trained, tactically sound, in those situations.”

Read the full article, “A Florida school’s answer to campus shootings? Combat veterans with semiautomatic rifles and Glocks.”